A Quick Update from France

Acte XI last weekend was one of the biggest yet, and it included the first ever gilets jaunes night protest in Paris. The police response to these (almost entirely peaceful) protests gets ever more violent. In the meantime, in Paris on Sunday there was an anti-Yellow Vest protest by a group calling themselves the ‘Red Scarves’. There were not many protestors there and it was obviously a government staged stunt (here if you want a laugh).

Acte XII next Saturday looks like it’s going to be another big one. Problem is, this is now all turning into a bit of a stalemate between the government and the protestors. The city of Rouen has been one of the biggest centres of protest in France (more so than Paris). The gilets jaunes in Rouen are now calling for an unlimited general strike, starting next week. General strikes are not that unusual in France. The last big one was in March 2016, which was when this latest wave of protests first kicked off. That general strike was a protest against reforms to employment laws, but mostly it was a protest against the state of emergency introduced by the Hollande government after the ‘terror attacks’ in Paris the previous November, terror attacks that took place on Friday 13th and like all the other ‘terror attacks’ it perfectly mirrored the political chaos in France.

These general strikes don’t last very long, but with the mood in the country at the moment this call from the gilets jaunes in Rouen might be answered. As usual if there aren’t English subtitles on this video click on the first little icon on the right of the YouTube toolbar…

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14 Responses to A Quick Update from France

  1. Gloria says:

    The USA is unbelievably fucked up. Probably 20 or 30 million homeless. Dozens homeless in small towns. Americans are just dumn shits though. No matter how bad things get, they will do nothing. One can only hope people are successful there.

  2. freddy says:

    The French government is under growing pressure to follow other European countries in banning controversial rubber-ball launchers used by riot police amid a spate of serious injuries suffered by Yellow Vest protesters.
    https://www.france24.com/en/20190130-french-police-yellow-vests-rubber-bullets-grenades-castaner

    Still all quiet in the U.K.

  3. freddy says:

    There will also be a new crime of covering your face during a street demonstration – whether with a helmet, mask or scarf – punishable by a fine of €15,000 (£13,117) or a prison sentence.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/31/authoritarian-anti-protest-gilets-jaunes-measures-draw-criticism-in-france

    Rob, is France now a police-state?

  4. freddy says:

    Emily Spanton, a Canadian holidaymaker, said she went out “to have some fun” while on vacation in Paris but ended up raped in a police station.

    On Thursday, 31 January, Nicolas Redouane, 49, and 40-year-old Antoine Quirin, were convicted of rape. Both were jailed for seven years.

    Ms. Spanton, who was 35 at the time, said she was raped after she met a group of police officers.
    https://sputniknews.com/europe/201901311072006269-french-police-rape-guilty/

    • freddy says:

      A chap has his fingers blown off by a police grenade.
      https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1084864/Yellow-Vest-movement-GILET-JAUNES-Emmanuel-Macron-Paris-violence
      Shocking footage of the incident shows a member of the Yellow Vest protest holding a wounded arm, with their hand brutally ripped off by a GLI-F4 grenade. Eyewitnesses told the AFP that grenade was fired by police to disperse the crowd as protesters attempted to force their way into the grounds of the French National Assembly.

      • freddy says:

        hello Rob, would it be possible for you to explain, is France still under a State of Emergency?

        • Rob Godfrey Rob Godfrey says:

          Freddy, the state of emergency was first introduced after the ‘Paris attacks’ in November 2015. It was supposed to last for just three months; this from the then Hollande government (who also started bombing Syria after the Paris attacks). The present unrest in France started in January 2016, which was three years ago (the yellow vests are just the latest manifestation of this). They were protesting about both the changes to employment laws, and the state of emergency, which severely restricted civil liberties.

          In February 2016 the state of emergency was extended by another three months. Amongst other things, the state of emergency gave special powers to security services and police to act without judges’ approval or judicial oversight, to carry out night raids, and to place people under house arrest. Ironically, the state of emergency also made the protests illegal, but because of the huge number of people out on the streets President Hollande & Co were bricking themselves and didn’t dare to stop the demonstrators.

          In March 2016 there were the biggest protests yet, culminating in a nationwide general strike on 31st of March against the state of emergency. Millions were on the streets, brought out because President Hollande had said that he wanted to write the state of emergency into the French constitution.

          The Bastille Day ‘lorry attack’ on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in 2016 resulted in the deaths of 86 people and injured 434. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. Hours after the attack, President Hollande addressed the nation. He stated that France was now at war and the state of emergency, which was due to expire on 26th July, would be extended by another 3 months, with considerations for it to be made permanent.

          In all, the state of emergency has been extended seven times (usually following various ‘terrorist attacks’ that mirrored the civil unrest in France). The state of emergency was sort of finally written into law by the Macron government in 2017…

          https://www.rt.com/news/405557-france-anti-terror-law/

          There’s been all sorts of legal challenges to this and I don’t know what the present state of play is.

          One big thing about the yellow vest movement is that they are protesting about such restrictions of civil liberties.

          • freddy says:

            Thank you Rob, that was very helpful.

            Today three Conservatives crossed the house and have joined eight New Labour pro-Israel-pro-E.U. nutters.

            They are not a party but they party with Israeli money.

          • Rob Godfrey Rob Godfrey says:

            Freddy, although Ireland is comparatively a small country, there’s a big groundswell there as well. Gemma O’Doherty and I are most times on the opposite side of politics, yet when it comes to what’s often termed as ‘globialisation’ we meet.

            Gemma O’Doherty ran as a candidate for the Irish President last year but didn’t get enough mandates to make it to the final ballot. O’Doherty is now setting up an anti-corruption party. If interested you can find the latest here…

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RA2v6oE4CBU

          • freddy says:

            Rob, on Radio Four today, some nutter was BIGING up Macron saying what a wonderful young energetic person he was and what a huge positive difference he was making for France, I nearly choked on my porridge. This person also claimed the Yellow Jackets hated jews and all foreigners?
            https://www.france24.com/en/20190220-macron-ex-bodyguard-benalla-detained-senate-report-release

            Their report suggested that chief of staff Patrick Strzoda, presidency secretary Alexis Kohler and security chief Lionel Lavergne may have “withheld significant truth” during their testimony, notably about the remit of Benalla’s role as security adviser, and called on prosecutors to look into their statements.

            The senate’s investigative committee also said it had reason to believe Benalla may have lied to them under oath.

  5. freddy says:

    France fuel protests: 80-year-old woman killed in Marseille
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-46429930

    Hello Rob, is any person going to be charged over the death of this woman from the police grenade, whilst she was in her home, not demonstrating?

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