Gilets Jaunes Acte 26

This weekend marks the 26th consecutive week of gilets jaunes (yellow vest) protests. All across France a huge number of people took to the streets, this despite rainy weather in much of the country. The demonstration in Paris was smaller than usual, and surprisingly there was very little violence meted out by the police…

Yesterday’s demonstration in Lyon was not so calm. If you watch the following video you’ll see that the police are responding brutally towards what are mostly peaceful demonstrators, demonstrators of all ages and from all walks of life. This police brutality has been a hallmark of the last six months…

The gilets jaunes movement stems largely from rural France, which is where I live. Over the last decade things have changed in this neck of the woods. For example, in my nearest big village the swimming pool has been closed, the little branch line rail service has been suspended, the big hotel in the village has been derelict for years and the cave/wine cellar has shut up shop. In the smaller villages around here most of the general stores have closed. Likewise with petrol stations. In the last few years even village boulangeries have started to close. The cost of living keeps going up and up, whilst wages stagnate. A lot of people can’t afford to live anymore and feel like they have nothing to lose; what’s that old saying? when people have nothing to lose, they lose it. In the history of the modern western world I can’t think of anything that’s been remotely like the gilets jaunes movement, a movement that encompasses all strands of politics and has no leadership structure.

During the early weeks of the gilets jaunes protests some people were comparing them to the uprising in France in 1968. Back then it was students who started protesting, and they were later joined by factory workers. Whilst the gilets jaunes hold many of the same views as the students in 1968 (against capitalism, consumerism, American imperialism and traditional institutions) they encompass a much wider range of people, desperate people from all corners of France. Also the gilets jaunes don’t just want reform, they want to completely change the way that France is run. The 1968 protests ended after 7 weeks when President De Gaulle dissolved the National Assembly, and called for new parliamentary elections. Now, after 26 weeks of protests, the totally despised President Macron refuses to go and continues a programme of austerity and globalisation. It’s a terrible situation, and it’s very difficult to predict how it will end…

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One Response to Gilets Jaunes Acte 26

  1. freddy says:

    How many protestors/members of the public have been killed of maimed by forces of the French State
    over the last half a year?

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