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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Yellow Vest Protest Movement Exposes Inequality

Ignored by Macron, distorted by the media, courted by the Right, snubbed by the Left, the self-organized mass movement known as the Yellow Vests is seriously challenging the political and economic order in France.

In Paris, on the morning of Saturday Dec. 1, as thousands of self-organized Yellow Vest protestors attempted to gather to express their grievances on the Champs-Elysées at a planned, peaceful demonstration, French CRS riot police in Paris attacked them savagely with tear-gas, flash-bombs and water-canons. By the end of the day, cars were burning near the Arc of Triumph, and all of Paris was in chaos as groups of would-be peaceful marchers, joined by the usual casseurs (‘smashers’) spread throughout the capital, expressing their anger at the system and calling for the resignation of President Macron.

This militarized state over-reaction to a peaceful mass demonstration breaks with a long tradition of tolerance for muscled demonstrations by rowdy angry farmers and militant labor unions. A tolerance Macron, in speeches, has blamed for the failure of previous governments to pass needed pro-business counter-reforms. Predictably, Macron (who must have ordered Saturday morning’s unprovoked, violent attacks on unarmed demonstrators arriving early for the planned march) blamed the victims: ‘‘What happened today in Paris has nothing to do with the peaceful expression of legitimate anger,” he said on Saturday. “Nothing justifies attacking the security forces, vandalizing businesses, either private or public ones, or that passers-by or journalists are threatened, or the Arc de Triomphe defaced.”[1]

Meanwhile, throughout the French provinces, at least 75, 000 Yellow Vest protesters (police estimate) were blocking highway entrances, intersections, and shopping centers all day – all with minimal violence and apparent general approval (80% according to recent polls).

Why France’s ‘Silent Majority’ Is Mad as Hell

Like all the spontaneous mass uprisings that dot French history going back to Feudal times, the Yellow Vest revolt was initially provoked by taxes. In this case, the straw that broke the camel’s back was Macron’s decision to increase taxes on gas and Diesel fuel, which affect ordinary working and lower-middle class French people dependent on their cars to earn a living. The rebels, donning the yellow breakdown-safety vests they are required to keep in their cars by the government, have been on the warpath for three weeks now. Spurning all political parties, the Yellow Vests got organized on social media and acted locally. The broadcast media, although highly critical, spread the news nationally, and the Yellow Vest movement spread across France, blocking intersections, filtering motorists, and gathering to demonstrate, more and more numerous and militant, on successive Saturdays.

Why Saturdays? “I can’t go on strike,” explains one woman.  “I’m raising three kids alone. My job, that’s all I have left. Coming on Saturdays is the only way for me to show my anger.”  Women – receptionists, hostesses, nurses-aids, teachers – are present in unusually large numbers in these crowds, and they are angry about a lot more than the tax on Diesel.

To begin with, inequality. Like Trump, Macron has showered corporations and millionaires with huge tax cuts, creating a hole in the budget which he has compensated by cuts in public services (hospitals, schools, transit, police) and by tax increases for ordinary people (up to 40% of their income), large numbers of whom are struggling hard to make ends meet and going into debt. “We’re hungry and we’re fed up,” said Jessica Monnier, 28, who works in a watch factory in the French Alps. She earns $1, 140 a month, and said: “Once I pay my bills, I don’t have enough to eat. We’re just hungry, that’s all.”[2]

This anger has been building since last Spring, the 50th anniversary of the 1968 worker-student uprising, but was frustrated when Macron won the stand-off with labor over his neo-liberal, pro-business counter-reforms. This labor defeat was facilitated by the leadership of the CGT and other unions, played the same negative role in the 1968 sell-out to de Gaulle. A half-century later the French union leaders, eager to keep their place at the political table (and on the government payroll), avoided a major confrontation, met with the government behind the scenes, and only went through the motions of carrying out strikes, spreading them over months and tiring out the workers. [Please see my “French Labor’s Historical Defeat” http://divergences.be/spip.php?article3348]

quote:

This Saturday, the demonstrators were heard booing the TV network people on Place de la Concorde, furious at being been presented as deliberate vandals , calling the press “Usurpers,” “We wanted to come and demonstrate calmly,” said one fifty-ish Yellow Vest interviewed by Médiapart. I came by train, I had my ID card in my pocket. They threw so much tear-gas at us that we ran like rabbits.” He then held out a rubber cartridge. “They even fired Flash-balls at us” he added as two nearby women nodded. “Who are the Vandals?”

quote:

Meanwhile, here are excerpts from the 2018 Yellow Vest Grievance list[6]:

No one left homeless.

  • End the austerity policy. Cancel the interest on illegitimate debt. Don’t tax the poor to pay it back, find the 85 billion Euros of fiscal fraud uncollected.
  • Create a true integration policy, with French language, history and civics courses for immigrants.
  • Minimum salary €1500 per month
  • Privilege city and village centers. Stop building huge shopping centers.
  • More progressive income tax rates.
  • Big companies like Mac Donald’s, Google, Amazon and Carrefour should pay big taxes, and little artisans low taxes.

NDPP

The People of France Reject Macron's Policies

https://t.co/Uo9MD1LuJi

"How long can he survive...?"

 

08/12/18 D-Day

https://twitter.com/Soylent0G/status/1069732669792157697

 

BINGO!

https://twitter.com/alistark2017/status/1069204647473225728

NDPP

Revolt Against France's Elite

https://twitter.com/snarwani/status/1069753111860912128

"Representatives of the 'Yellow Vest' demonstrators have called off talks with the French government. The gap between the people and their government is deepening."

NDPP

BREAKING: French PM To Announce Suspension of Fuel Tax Hikes - AFP Cites Govt Sources

https://on.rt.com/9jrc

"French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is set to announce the suspension of fuel tax hikes which triggered massive unrest across the country, AFP reported citing government sources."

And so the French people show us once again the power of popular resistance and how to bend a government to its people's will. 

NDPP

France Introduces 6-Month Moratorium on Fuel Tax Increases

https://on.rt.com/9jrc

"French PM Edouard Philippe has announced a six-month suspension of the fuel tax hike which triggered massive unrest across the country, saying the measure is aimed at stopping the violence and restoring public order..."

bekayne

Yay global warming!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

NDPP wrote:

BREAKING: French PM To Announce Suspension of Fuel Tax Hikes - AFP Cites Govt Sources

https://on.rt.com/9jrc

"French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is set to announce the suspension of fuel tax hikes which triggered massive unrest across the country, AFP reported citing government sources."

And so the French people show us once again the power of popular resistance and how to bend a government to its people's will. 

..with all due respect the people have not bent the government to their will. this is an appeasement tactic by the powers to try and divide thus weaken the resistance. saying this is taking nothing away from that resistance's power to force the government to the table.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

bekayne wrote:

Yay global warming!

..from post #252

quote:

To begin with, inequality. Like Trump, Macron has showered corporations and millionaires with huge tax cuts, creating a hole in the budget which he has compensated by cuts in public services (hospitals, schools, transit, police) and by tax increases for ordinary people (up to 40% of their income), large numbers of whom are struggling hard to make ends meet and going into debt. “We’re hungry and we’re fed up,” said Jessica Monnier, 28, who works in a watch factory in the French Alps. She earns $1, 140 a month, and said: “Once I pay my bills, I don’t have enough to eat. We’re just hungry, that’s all.”[2]

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
saying the measure is aimed at stopping the violence and restoring public order..."

I think they meant "... aimed at delaying the violence for six months".

Quote:
And so the French people show us once again the power of popular resistance and how to bend a government to its people's will.

If the government tries to tax our fossil fuels, let's take to the streets!

 

cco

I do wonder what the Canadian reaction would be if gas cost $2.75/liter like it does in France. People here are so accustomed to lower prices I suspect there'd be "national crisis" headlines every day. At least the majority of France has decent public transportation as an alternative.

iyraste1313

Representatives from the Yellow Vest movement have said that a temporary suspension of a further tax increase by the government does not go far enough, maintaining the taxes should be cut altogether.....Breitbart

iyraste1313

French students, meanwhile, have intensified their protests around the country - setting ire to buildings and engaging in violent clashes with the police. The students have "gradually started to get involved" with the Yellow Vest movement, leading to riots in southwest France, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and the city of Orleans. A school in Blagnac, near Toulouse was reportedly set on fire Tuesday, according to Reuters

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

 ..the fight for better transit or for the fazing out of fossil fuels has to be fought along side the struggle for a just transition. what is just about what the government is doing? its nothing but a transfer of wealth to the rich and powerful. under the guise of caring about the environment.

..there is plenty of evidence that the cities of france are leading transition with pressure coming from below. not the government. 

'I leave the car at home': how free buses are revolutionising one French city

One month after the French channel port of Dunkirk introduced free public transport for all, a small revolution is taking place.

Two women, perfect strangers until now, are chatting across the aisle about nothing in particular. One admits she sometimes takes the bus “just for the fun of it”. A young man wearing headphones is charging his mobile in a socket just above the “request stop” button.

quote:

Georges Contamin, 51, says he has reconsidered how he travels about the city since the buses became fare-free. “Before, I almost never took the bus, but the fact they are now free as well as the increase in the cost of car fuel has made me reflect on how I get about,” Contamin says.

NDPP

Les Gilets Jaunes - A Bright Yellow Sign of Distress

https://williambowles.info/2018/12/04/les-gilets-jaunes-a-bright-yellow-...

"...People were angry but ready to explain very clearly the economic issues. Colette, age 83, doesn't own a car, but explained to whoever would listen that the steep rise of gasoline prices would also hurt people who don't drive, by affecting prices of food and other necessities. She had done the calculations and found it would cost a retired person 80 euros per month. 'Macron didn't run on the promise to freeze pensions', recalled a Yellow Vest, but that is what he has done, along with increasing solidarity taxes on pensioners.

Indeed, it is perfectly hypocritical to call the French gas tax an 'ecotax' since the returns from a genuine ecotax would be invested to develop clean energies - such as tidal power plants. Rather the benefits are earmarked to balance the budget, that is to serve the public debt.  The Macronian gas tax is just another austerity measure, - along with cutting public services and 'selling the family jewels', that is selling potential money-makers like Alstom, port facilities and the Paris airports..."

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

If any Western government was serious about battling climate change they would not be increasing their budgets to buy new fuel sucking people killing machines. I don't have the data to know for sure but I'll bet that they could achieve the same savings in emissions by curtailing the military rather than feeding it old peoples pensions. After all if you aree in the NATO club you have to keep up with the Jones and buy all the latest weapons.

Note the 1.5 Billion dollar increase this year.

According the 2018 plan from the French government, the defense spending for 2019-2025 will increase to reach to 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2025. France will continue to modernize its armed forces with the purchase of new aircraft, upgrade Leclerc main battle tank and will acquire new combat armored vehicles. The military budget will increase €1.7 billion per year until 2022 and €3 billion per year starting in 2023. Total military expenditure over the period will be €300 billion. For 2018, it is €34.2 billion (1.82 percent of GDP), compared to €32.7 billion (1.77 percent of GDP) in 2017.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/fr-budget.htm

WWWTT

First off this isn’t the “yellow” vest protest. Its the fluorescent green vest protest. Or hi visibility vest protest. 

And the other point is that state of emergency may be on Macron’s to due list soon

https://www.rt.com/news/445405-france-toulouse-yellow-vest-protest/

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Ambulance workers and students join ‘yellow vest’ protests in France

Anti-government protesters gained new allies Monday as French paramedics and students joined ongoing rallies while the prime minister met with political rivals in a bid to ease the anger following riots that rocked Paris.

quote:

More protests took place on Monday in Paris, as dozens of ambulances blocked a bridge leading to the National Assembly. Lines of riot police stood in the rain to prevent them from getting too close to the building.

The paramedics who joined the demonstrations are complaining about changes to working conditions. Students opposing education reforms also joined in, blocking dozens of high schools across France, according to French media reports....

NDPP

Enough is Enough - It's Time To Revolt!

http://t.co/dO7qtY3FWh

"Either we topple the system or it will crush us...Next week will therefore be decisive: either even more of us manage to stop the economic machine by blocking ports, refineries, stations, distribution centres etc, by really taking the government's inner sanctuaries and its regional offices next Saturday, or we are lost. Next Saturday, the marches for the climate, which start from the principle that those who led us into this catastrophe aren't going to get us out of it, have no reason not to join us in the streets.

We are a hair's breadth away from the breakdown of the machinery of government. Either we succeed in the coming months to bring about the necessary change of course, or the coming apocalypse will be twice as heavy..."

 

"Enough of Fear Mongers, instrumentalising the rise of fascism to impose centre-right politics as the only reasonable solution."

https://twitter.com/JulzCasanova/status/1070051270898126848

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more from enough is enough

quote:

Every Saturday since November 17 in Paris, the people have been magnetized by the same objective: marching on the government’s inner sanctuaries. From Saturday to Saturday the difference consists firstly of the enormous increase in the police numbers deployed to prevent the march and secondly the accumulation of experience from the failure of the previous Saturday. If there were lots more people wearing swimming goggles and gas masks this Saturday, it was not because “groups of organised thugs” had “infiltrated the demo” but simply because the people had been extensively gassed the previous week and drew from that the conclusions that anyone with any sense would have drawn: come equipped next time around. In any case, this is not about a demonstration but an uprising.

If tens of thousands of people invaded the central Parisian area of Tuileries-Saint Lazare-Étoile-Trocadéro, it wasn’t because of a strategy of harassment decided by certain groups but because of people’s collective tactical intelligence in the face of the police deployment stopping them from reaching their goal. Blaming the “ultra-left” for this attempted uprising doesn’t fool anyone: if the ultra-left had been capable of driving construction machinery to charge the police lines or destroy motorway toll booths, we would have known about it; if it had been so numerous, so likeable, so courageous, we would have known about it. With its essentially identity-based concerns, this “ultra-left” is deeply embarrassed by the impurity of the gilets jaunes movement; the truth is that it doesn’t know which way to turn, that it has a bourgeois-like fear of compromising itself by mingling with this crowd that doesn’t in with any of its categories.

As for the “ultra-right” it has been sandwiched between its supposed means and ends: it promotes disorder while claiming to want order, it throws stones at the national police while declaring its love for the police and the nation, it wants to cut off the head of the republican monarch through love of a non-existent king. On all these matters, we are going to leave the Minister of the Interior to his ridiculous ravings. It isn’t the radicals who make the movement, it’s the movement that radicalises people. Who could believe that they are thinking about imposing a state of emergency against a handful of hooligans?

NDPP

France's 'Yellow Vest' Protests Escalate 

https://youtu.be/RncVMTQswYA

"The French government is now mulling all options in response, including a state of emergency."

 

'I Call the Gilets Jaunes To Walk With Us on Dec 8'

https://twitter.com/CathyVoganSPK/status/1070498099041230849

'The cause of inequality and that of the destruction of the planet is the same.' Looks like these two massive forces in France are about to unite. On Saturday they will march in solidarity for the climate."

bekayne

epaulo13 wrote:

As for the “ultra-right” it has been sandwiched between its supposed means and ends: it promotes disorder while claiming to want order, it throws stones at the national police while declaring its love for the police and the nation, it wants to cut off the head of the republican monarch through love of a non-existent king. On all these matters, we are going to leave the Minister of the Interior to his ridiculous ravings. It isn’t the radicals who make the movement, it’s the movement that radicalises people. Who could believe that they are thinking about imposing a state of emergency against a handful of hooligans?

Check the graph on page 30: Selon vous, quelle formation politique incarne le mieux l’opposition au président de la République, Emmanuel Macron ?

https://www.ifop.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Tableau-de-bord-politiqu...

 

NDPP

Yes indeed, 76% of France disapproves of Macron. But of course, it's all just another Putin plot says 'PropOrNot'...

'There are indications that the 'Yellow Vest Movement' in France is the pointy end of a Russian active measures campaign against Emmanuel Macron.'

https://twitter.com/BenjaminNorton/status/1070051191223173121

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

bekayne wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

As for the “ultra-right” it has been sandwiched between its supposed means and ends: it promotes disorder while claiming to want order, it throws stones at the national police while declaring its love for the police and the nation, it wants to cut off the head of the republican monarch through love of a non-existent king. On all these matters, we are going to leave the Minister of the Interior to his ridiculous ravings. It isn’t the radicals who make the movement, it’s the movement that radicalises people. Who could believe that they are thinking about imposing a state of emergency against a handful of hooligans?

Check the graph on page 30: Selon vous, quelle formation politique incarne le mieux l’opposition au président de la République, Emmanuel Macron ?

https://www.ifop.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Tableau-de-bord-politiqu...

..i've translated your question and looked at the graph. not sure what your point is. but i'm willing to say it's the uprising that posses the immediate threat to marcon.

bekayne

It just occurred to me...if Le Pen became President...then she would become really unpopular! I can see what the plan is now!

NDPP

BREAKING: "French army seen headed towards Paris as major yellow vest protests have been planned for Saturday. Tens of thousands of people are expected to participate. President Macron expressed his concern, saying he fears serious violence on Saturday."

https://twitter.com/BreakingNLive/status/1070708599905751041

89,000 military and security forces to be deployed across France.

WWWTT

NDPP wrote:

Yes indeed, 76% of France disapproves of Macron. But of course, it's all just another Putin plot says 'PropOrNot'...

'There are indications that the 'Yellow Vest Movement' in France is the pointy end of a Russian active measures campaign against Emmanuel Macron.'

https://twitter.com/BenjaminNorton/status/1070051191223173121

Jesus fuck that’s funny shyt!

The Russian trolls are behind the yellow jacket protests

NDPP

Enough is Enough - Cops Detain 700 Students

https://twitter.com/enough14/status/1070804930083082240

"Macron's world is trying to crack down on protesters...Cops detained more than 700 students today, Dec 6. This video is from Mantes La Jolie."

NDPP

France Caves in to Nationwide Calls to Abandon Fuel Tax Hike

https://youtu.be/uCcKmdURMpg

"The government is clumsy, panicking and doesn't know what they're doing. We want fundamental change. We want to get rid of the politicians who got us here..."

Vive.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

France's CGT union calls 48-hour energy strike in support of yellow vests

France's hard-left CGT trade union on Thursday called on its energy industry workers to walk out for a 48 hours from Dec. 13, saying it wanted to join forces with 'yellow vest' protesters.

The CGT said President Emmanuel Macron's long-term energy-transition plan would hurt jobs and increase France's energy dependency on neighboring countries.

It urged its workers at state-utility EDF, gas and power supplier Engie and all other companies in the sector to down tools. It had already called a 24-hour strike, but said it was extending that.

The union said its members were "joining the protests which the country is currently experiencing."

It said it challenged "the choices of the Elysee and Matignon (President and Prime Minister's offices), which are increasing inequalities and no longer allow a large part of the population to live with dignity."

bekayne
voice of the damned

^ I take the point made earlier that Macron's tax might not be doing much for the environment. But the question is: if some government in France DID introduce an eco-friendly tax, would the yellow-vests support it?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

^ I take the point made earlier that Macron's tax might not be doing much for the environment. But the question is: if some government in France DID introduce an eco-friendly tax, would the yellow-vests support it?

..i don't see how this can be decided in isolation from the other things macron is doing. so in fact the same with any government.

NDPP

CrossTalk: France Goes Yellow

https://youtu.be/zRyxWct0yhM

NDPP

A Message To The World From Gilets Jaunes

https://twitter.com/alexander_durie/status/1071089159085928455

"Getting ready for the Gilets Jaunes protest in Paris tomorrow. Half the city feels shut down in an eerie silence apart from the deafening sound of police sirens. Spotted this graffiti right next to my flat. Will tomorrow be the most confrontational day yet?

Le Plan:

Phase 1: Les Champs Elyees

Phase 2: LE MONDE"

Prepare...

NDPP
NDPP

French Unrest: Macron Too Arrogant to Quell the Riots, Analysts Say (and vid)

https://on.rt.com/9k2j

"This is  very explosive situation the likes of which France has not seen in a while. This is a major political crisis and I don't see the president and his supporters - less and less numerous - able to handle it.'

Alain Corvez, a former adviser for the Defense and Interior ministries told RT that he views the protests that have gripped France as 'a protest against Brussels' oligarchies.' The Yellow Vests may not express it outright, but they clearly understand 'that France, as with other European nations, are no more sovereign..."

 

"A very emotional interview with  real Gilet Jaune from France: 'He [Macron] took everything from me. Why is he doing this to his people? He's humiliating and despising his people..."

https://twitter.com/Aethonaia/status/1070819978763517952

#MacronDemission  #YellowVests

NDPP
lagatta4

Yes, it is a very ambiguous movement.

Lycéens are about the same age as Cégepiens here, or students in the upper years of high school elsewhere. It is really overkill to use such harsh measures.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Are the Gilets Jaunes Today’s Sans-Culottes?

quote:

From gas-tax protests to “Macron Démission!”

It is still premature to call the Gilets Jaunes movement a revolution, but one can say categorically that this unexpected and spontaneous grassroots movement has put France on track for the preliminary stages of such a dramatic event. While the Gilets Jaunes started as an apolitical protest mainly focused on gas taxes deemed unfair, it has, in a matter of three weeks, morphed into a movement that calls for many structural changes as well as the resignation of France’s President, Emmanuel Macron. The French government is under attack and says that the Republic is in peril from the chaos of the unreasonable extremists within the Gilets Jaunes. What the yellow vests of the Gilets Jaunes symbolizes is blue-collar workers, struggling retirees and students who revolt against the suits of the political class and CEOs. The Gilets Jaunes feel betrayed by the political class and even the Republic, and they view Macron as the president of the rich, acting often like a king and as if he is whispering about his subjects the “let them eat cake” of Marie-Antoinette. It is an anger over social inequality that fuels the Gilets Jaunes. While the integrity of the European Union should be defended for geopolitical reasons — otherwise European nations will lose their voices on the world stage — if the Gilets Jaunes movement spreads, perhaps the EU can fully become a European Union by and for the people, not the current EU of a rarefied ruling class.

A popular anti-capitalist revolt not a populist neofascist rise

The Gilets Jaunes movement is strictly horizontal, without a hierarchy or recognized leaders. It has, so far, refused to be hijacked by political parties: either the Rassemblement Nationale of Marine Le Pen on the far-Right, or La France Insoumise of Jean-Luc Melenchon on the Left. It has also rejected association with French labor unions. Without spelling it out, the Gilets Jaunes movement is anti-capitalist: a guttural revolt of the have-nots against the elite. It is a popular, not a populist, movement. Europeans and even American populist-nationalists are already distorting the Gilets Jaunes’ significance to serve their political agenda. As opposed to the rise of nationalism-populism elsewhere, such as in Italy, Austria, Hungary, the UK as expressed by BREXIT, the US, and Brazil with the election of Bolsonaro, the Gilets Jaunes do not have an anti-immigration or even an anti-EU agenda that reeks of racism and neofascism.

“Les riches parlent de la fin du monde, on a peur des fins de mois”

The Gilets Jaunes are in revolt against capitalism or neoliberalism, which is a worldwide system of concentration of wealth and power into a few hands. With our pending ecological collapse and vanishing biodiversity, capitalism has failed and is reaching its end game. Unlike the neofascist science deniers, the Gilets Jaunes perceive climate change as a crisis, but they say that it is hard to focus on a global ecological collapse when you live from paycheck to paycheck. They feel that they deal with the anxiety of putting food on the table at the end of the month while the rich talk about the end of the world. Thinking about humanity’s survival is hard to do on an empty stomach....

NDPP

How the West Eats Its Children

http://www.voltairenet.org/article204208.html

"For Thierry Meyssan, by taking to the streets, the French have become the first Western population to take personal risks to oppose financial globalization..."

NDPP

100+ Injured in Paris & over 1.7k detained across France in Latest Yellow Vest Chaos (& vid)

https://on.rt.com/9k4s

https://twitter.com/hashtag/Gilets_Jaunes?src=hash

NDPP

'We're Getting Robbed': Meet the Faces Behind France's Yellow Vest Protests (& vid)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/yellow-vest-protests-france-paris-tax-hike...

"Demonstrators denied better living standards, distance themselves from violence. 'We have to be able to feed our families..."

NDPP
NDPP

What Do the Protesters Want?

https://t.co/xBsjVC3S6B

 The following list of demands has been circulating...

cco

I haven't seen something that incoherent in quite some time (assuming it's authentic, which is a big assumption). Guarantee much lower taxes on the rich! Significantly increase spending! Eliminate debt! Stop privatization while getting the state out of education and health care! Scrupulously respect our international commitments while getting out of all EU treaties and making sure we don't accept one more goddamn refugee! My personal favourite is II (8), banning influence groups and preventing anyone with any criminal record from being involved in politics at any level. "Listen to us! We demand you never listen to anyone else again!"

Are we positive Macron's government didn't whip this up as anti-protester propaganda?

NDPP

No.

voice of the damned

cco wrote:
Stop privatization while getting the state out of education and health care!

Well, what I saw on education wasn't privatization per se, but...

Remove all ideology from the ministry of education, ending all destructive education techniques

Which in North America would usually be a dog-whistle for "Get all this multiculturalism and sexual perversion out of the schools". And there does tend to be a bit of an overlap between the people who say that, and the people who want schools auctioned off to churches and corporations.

I'm not sure about France, and I suppose it's possible that "ideologies" and "destructive education techniques" could mean something in the vicinity of "remove ultramontane  propaganda from the curriculum and end corporal punishment". But it might be telling that the writers of the list find it prudent NOT to elaborate any further.

 

cco

That's II (13). I'm talking about II (16), a constitutional ban on state "interference" in education, health care, and "the family". The American precedent would be "Get your government hands off my Medicare!"

voice of the damned

Ah, thanks for the clarification.

The wording of that one is broad enough("interference" basically meaning "any intervention that the speaker thinks is bad") that someone who wants to, say, pull his kids out of sex-ed, can think that the yellow-vests are guaranteeing his right to do that, without privatizing the whole system and forcing him to pay a year's salary to send his kids to school.

Whereas someone who does want to privatize the whole system will read THAT promise into the wording.

In any case, yeah, these guys definitely seem to be playing footsie with the far-right, while trying not to alieanate the left.  

voice of the damned

This was in the NYRB last week...

https://tinyurl.com/y9r69u28

Written, I assume, before the yellow-vest protests really got going, the writer's description of young conservative French intellectuals seems echoed in the manifesto posted above. The anglosphere equivalent of these guys, it seems to me, would be Red Toryism(in the original meaning of economically interventionist and socially conservative), or ChesterBelloc, though the writer mentions none of those by name.

 

 

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