Life After a French Revolution: What Next for the Protest Camp That Won? by Greg Frey

30 May 2019 — Novara Media

Two things are clear when entering France’s infamous Zone to Defend, or Zad: this is a reclaimed space and a divided territory.

The handmade cabins, the welcome messages scribbled over road signs and the empty tear gas canisters littering the fields show how these 4,000 acres have been salvaged from the states’ plans to turn them into an airport. Under this central struggle another one lurks. The defaced map of the zone and the spray-painted message ‘Zad for Sale’ on the lighthouse, show how the end of the airport project has divided the Zad’s inhabitants. When I asked a long-term inhabitant, he described this as the latest feature of the zone’s ongoing “civil war”.

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China – and Macron’s U-Turn By Peter Koenig

1 April 2019 — New Eastern Outlook

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Less than a week ago, President Macron was lambasting Italy for signing agreements with China in the context of their New Silk Road, alias President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), in the same breath he was criticizing China for attempting to undermine Europe with new trade individual country deals under the pretext of BRI. However, Italy, also scolded by Brussels for her single-handed deals with China, was, in fact, the first G7 country for signing a number of contracts with China to use Italian ports under the BRI, making Italy also the first official EU partner of China’s BRI.

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Globalism’s Last Disgrace: The Army vs. the Yellow Vests By Tom Luongo

27 March 2019 — Strategic Culture Foundation

Globalism’s Last Disgrace: The Army vs. the Yellow Vests

There are few people in this world more odious than French President Emmanuel Macron after his behavior this week. I’m sure there are child molesters who are worse. But as a man who is pivotal in the future of hundreds of millions of people, his decision to order the French military to quell the Yellow Vests protests with live ammunition is simply vile.

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Economist Frédéric Lordon’s Letter to Emmanuel Macron: “Hand Over the Keys”

23 March 2019 — Novara Media

In response to the explosive yellow vests (gilets jaunes) movement, French president Emmanuel Macron announced the “Great Debate” – a vast, unprecedented nationwide exercise in consulting citizens on how to fix France’s problems – starting in December 2018 and ending this March. Attempting to shore up his legitimacy and dampen contestation, Macron travelled the country engaging in lengthy debates with locally elected mayors. With his tour ending on 15 March, the yellow vests flocked to Paris, ransacking the Champs-Élysées and joining in two other large, simultaneous protests: one for climate justice, the other against state racism and police violence.

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What Colour is Your Vest? By Stefan Kipfer and Karen Wirsig

14 February 2019 — The Bullet

The Gilets Jaunes Revolt Shaking France

In 1934, the political situation in France was tense and uncertain. The year began with a mobilization of royalist and fascist militias (on February 6) that were followed immediately (on February 9 and 12) by a response from the Communist and Socialist wings of the workers movement. As Norbert Guterman and Henri Lefebvre reported, “all these men are ready for the concrete liberation a revolution would bring – and perhaps also, unfortunately, the mystique and brutal mythology of the fascists” (1999 [1936], 143, trans. SK). When these lines were written in the mid-1930s, France was experiencing a rising tide of grassroots anti-fascist politics culminating in the strike waves of the early days of the Popular Front government. Yet Lefebvre and Guterman’s warning was well-placed. The Popular Front disintegrated due to many contradictions, ultimately giving rise to Marshall Pétain’s collaborationist administration, France’s contribution to fascist regime politics.

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France: Yellow Vests and Red Unions Strike Together

10 February 2019 — PM Press

Macron Prepares New Repressive Measures

On Tues, Feb. 5, as the Macron government pushed harsh repressive laws against demonstrators through the National Assembly, the Yellow Vests joined with France’s unions for the first time in a day-long, nation-wide “General Strike.”

At the very moment when in Paris the lower house was voting to implement Macron’s proposed laws designed to suppress public demonstrations (a legal right protected in both the French Constitution and the U.N. Human Rights Declaration) tens of thousands of their constituents were out in the streets all over the country demonstrating and striking against Macron’s authoritarian, neo-liberal government. The demonstrators’ demands ranged from better salaries and retirement benefits, restoration of public services, equitable tax codes, an end to police brutality, and banning the use of “flash-balls” on demonstrators, to Macron’s resignation and the instauration of participatory democracy.

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The Yellow Vests, the Crisis of the Welfare State and Socialism By Michèle BRAND

26 January 2019 — Counterpunch

Far from dying down after the holidays, France’s yellow vest movement is continuing to blaze throughout the country. Every Saturday for eleven weeks, protesters have been disrupting or blocking roads, traffic circles and freeway toll plazas, gathering in the squares of villages, taking to the streets of towns, marching in massive numbers through city boulevards, and confronting violent police repression. Ten people have died in the protests, mainly due to accidents at road blocks, and over 2000 have been injured by the police, around 100 seriously. 17 people have lost an eye due to rubber bullets, according to an independent association and an investigative journalist, while the interior minister recently said there were 4. Thousands have been arrested.

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More defiance define Gilets Jaunes “Acte 10” (Videos)

21 January 2019 — Greanville Post

Collated and with commentary by Patrice Greanville

PREFACE The video below is an eloquent document about the clashes of Gilets Jaunes with the police. The anger of the demonstrators is obvious, there’s pent-up frustration with a regime they perceive as deaf and dumb to their interests or the institutions of genuine democracy (sound familiar?). The video —a collage of various clashes and possibly different dates—focuses on a great deal of violence, but Gilets Jaunes “acts” (as they call them) are mostly peaceful. Do not—despite these images—yield to the notion the Gilets are a bunch of irresponsible “casseurs” (guys just out to break senselessly everything in sight). Their cause is just. But notice as well that these are people who are not easily intimidated. There’s something to be learned from the French here, in how they tell the ruling cliques that they won’t be taken for granted. Except for the top video, all the rest reflect events occurring between January 19 and 20.

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Yellow Vests, Class Struggle and Spontaneous Revolution by Gaither Stewart

18 January 2019 — Greanville Post

In What Is To Be Done of 1902 Lenin opposed revolutionary spontaneity because it “strips away the disciplined nature of the Marxists idea of revolution, leaving it arbitrary and ineffective.” True to himself, Lenin then returned to opposition to spontaneous revolution after WWI during the German Revolution of 1918-19 when in a spontaneous uprising against the post-WWI system Rosa Luxemburg and the Spartacist League failed in an attempt to overturn German capitalism.

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