No idea how the majority of the MSM/media are covering France right now but this is the thread. Online the chatter points to a counter narrative the source of mal content are the growing immigration pressures/polices coming to a head around the imposition of a new fuel tax, the later being only symptomatic. On the face of below videos there are characteristics of a popular revolt but these are only a sample.
I cite popular revolt as in some instances the police, fire services and maybe other French law & order agencies do not fully support the current president/policies and may be fully sympathetic by standing down.
**On the subject of the Hi-Viz or Yellow vests. **Their use may be due to a french government law of recent vintage that requires all drivers to carry a hi-viz vests in their car in case of breakdown emergency. That everyone had one on hand and used it as a symbolism of subversion, makes a lot of sense.
The use of the high vis jacket was brilliant. All motorists are required to have one in their car. Started more than a decade ago. A perfect symbol for the oppressive all invasive nanny state. The marie (the state) is watching your every move.
This is a straight “color revolution”. Bottom up with no connection with established parties or groups. Unlike all other recent mass demos in the Fifth Republic over the decades. Which tend towards street theater. Hence the real sense of fear in the establishment. The talking heads on French TV the last few days have had very interesting body language. The people who turn out for these demos are ordinary folk not the usual people who go on organized demos. Which are a regular occurrence in France. The people doing the rioting are the “casseurs”. The usual suspects in these sort of violent confrontations. Call themselves “anarchists” of some colour or other but as just your typical nihilist violent thugs. Normally they are associated with the communist trade union the CGT and the ultra left parties, to the left of Melenchon, but this time its more opportunistic free lancing. Why waste a good opportunity for a riot.
This could get very interesting. Today the political establishment is trying to put order on the situation but this is not a May Days (1968) situation. Far more febrile than that. There is a real touch of the July Revolution (1830) about it. Came out of nowhere. mishandled badly by the establishment. Then the end of a era which never returned.
Whatever happens Macron is a lame duck now. Even more so that Hollande was. This may be the closing scene of the Fifth Republic. Which now seems to be ungovernable by the current elites. Just like Germany.
Similar enough to the issues in the Brexit vote in rural England/north of the Watford gap.
The French populace love a good manifestation, to shake things up a bit. Despite the ECB pronouncements of low increases in the cost of living, these people aren’t buying it. Many say they cannot now afford to replace the diesel cars sold to them ten years ago on ecological grounds (John Gormley and Eamon Ryan eh). Coincidentally the French car makers led the European market in diesel for the last 25 years.
Meanwhile in Ireland the same cohort are comfortably corralled…
This is the real France, the France outside the salubrious Centre Ville districts and inner western suburbs of Paris. The situation in Italy is even worse. Even in the “rich” Nord. The difference between scraping by and slowing sinking into penury are the huge eco taxes on energy and cars. A car is a necessity and even well off people, by local standards, ration their use of electricity and gas due to the huge amounts of tax on them which make them very expensive. Relative to local income.
In that confrontation Paris tried to intimidate the locals by sending down the Paris CRS , the riot police. But a large group of locals stared down the CRS, think the biggest burliest farmers you have ever seen, Paris blinked, the CRS went back to Paris and Hollande soon surrendered.
The Bretons played their hand very cannily. As usual. With the national flag, the Gwenn-ha-du, upfront and center. Nothing said but everything implied. So Paris made a hasty retreat. This time around Macron seems to be out Dieu’ing even Mitterrand. So looks like it will end in a debacle. Just like with Mitterrand.
I think the greens paid dearly for that misstep. I remember a lot friends who’d supported them over the years felt very betrayed that their car tax on their old car small engine car was many times more than the new bigger engined cars. They saw it as a very ungreen policy that incentivised more car production and pollution.
Given that the people who read Liberation, and the Guardian, and their politics are very much the “enemy” not surprised the author is so disturbed by what is happening. The “people” refuse to know their place and follow their designated part of the bien pensant political narrative. How dare the oiks disturb the world of Tout Le Monde and their kids, the Bobos.
Nice summary of what happened in Paris in this video montage from Le Monde. The last few frames are the most telling ones about how frightened the authorities are.
You can be pretty sure that guy has a round in the chamber.
What’s happening outside the '75 (Central Paris) is a lot more interesting. Parts of France completely paralyzed and grinding to a halt.
A lot of this kind of stuff happened in '68. But those disturbances were all acted out within a very rigid organizational and ideological framework. Which the authorities were able to respond to and deal with. The current situation is without precedent in modern France. Utterly decentralized and amorphous. Quite different from either Poujadism or even Boulangisme, the last times Le France Profonde struck back against the elites.
The other huge difference between now and 1968 is that during the May Days France was led by the greatest French politician of the last 150 years, Charles De Gaulle, who had a political flexibility second to none. Whereas Macron, well is nt. Basically the charisma of a Pompidou combined with the political nous of a Leon Blum.
In the same way that the political status quo in Germany has completely collapsed, top three parties CDU/CSU, Afd and Greens, I think this is the end of the road for status quo in France. The Socialist Party has imploded, the FN are rebranded as the neo Gaullists, the RN, and the center right LR is going around in circles chasing its tail. With En Marche, Macrons “party” looking more and more as a personality vehicle. Just like Forza Italia. So basically a mirror of Germany. With LR , FN and En Marche, and Melenchons FI being the designated completely loony left party. Always a requirement in French politics.
There was a Tipp man on Liveline yesterday, stating that rural Ireland is angry, as everyone needs car fuel, and a similar movement may be brewing all over the country. Went on about politicians getting expenses, pay rises etc, whilst ordinary folk are suffering and being ignored
Reading around this a little more, it seems it’s been building for about an month and is well and truly nationwide brewing. I read that protestors have been blocking. Toll roads, also opening up Toll barriers and I think also destroying the Toll barriers. Seems to be nationwide disgruntlement with everyone regardless of political persuasion fully pissed off.
Looks like they won a reversal of the Tax hike based on latest news but I can’t imagine they won’t continue to try to depose Macron, who appears nothing ore than a useful figurehead and target of ire. This is more complex but overall it seems to be based around anti-Eu sentiment across the French population.
@anyone - Is it true France ran a referendum on joining the Euro but it was rejected, the result then ignored by French government and joined anyway?
14.7m people voted for anti-EU parties FN and FI in 2017 election 1st round - 41% of vote .
Even the French media today syas these protests are acorss all classes and political spectrum of French society, reminiscent of 1840s revolution fever