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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Re-Colonisation By Thierry Meyssan

14 January 2019 — Voltaire Network

For Thierry Meyssan, one of the consequences of the successive ends of the bipolar and unipolar world is the re-establishment of colonial projects. One after the other, the French, Turkish and English have publicly declared the return of their colonial ambitions. We still need to know what form they will adopt in the 21st century.

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France’s mass “yellow vest” protests continue to grow in 2019 By Alex Lantier

14 January 2019 — WSWS

Demonstrations by French “yellow vest” protesters on Saturday, January 12, grew again, amid rising opposition among broad layers of the population to President Emmanuel Macron. Interior Ministry sources claimed 84,000 people demonstrated in the ninth straight weekend of mass protests against Macron, compared to 50,000 the week before—figures that, as even the official press noted, seemed to be substantial underestimates.

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Gilets Jaunes in 2019: French Democracy Dead or Alive? By Diana Johnstone

12 January 2019 — Global Research

Or perhaps one should say, buried or revived?  Because for the mass of ordinary people, far from the political, financial, media centers of power in Paris, democracy is already moribund, and their movement is an effort to save it.  Ever since Margaret Thatcher decreed that “there is no alternative”, Western economic policy is made by technocrats for the benefit of financial markets, claiming that such benefits will trickle down to the populace.  The trickle has largely dried up, and people are tired of having their needs and wishes totally ignored by an elite who “know best”.

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Gilets Jaunes SITREP 11 January 2019

11 January 2019 — The Saker

Do not expect the French medias, all owned by the French 1%, to be objective when speaking about the Yellow Vests. We shall then look at the Sputnik News France to get a fair vision of the phenomenon. Here is a translation made by Le Saker Francophone after the 8th act, hold on January 5th.

By Fabien Buzzanca – January 9th 2019 – Sputnik France

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