France Erupts (updates)



Posted by Ed 8 mths ago
Yellow Vests ERUPT: Rioters torch cars in chaos across France in 8TH WEEKEND of clashes



Ed 8 mths ago

Ed 8 mths ago
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Ed 8 mths ago

Ed 8 mths ago
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Ed 7 mths ago
French riot police are now using semi-automatic weapons with live ammunition against Yellow Vest protestors as Macron's law and order crisis spirals

Officers were filmed brandishing weapons by Arc de Triomphe in Paris today
Riot police were on crowd control duty today facing off a mob of Gilet Jaunes
Rifles at demonstration by unarmed citizens show how Macron crisis intensifies
Last week former conservative minster said live fire should be used on 'thugs'

Ed 7 mths ago

Ed 7 mths ago
France's Ghosts of '68: General Strike vs. Macron and the Technocrat Elites

Why the Protests are Unstoppable

The Paris elites and their enablers may find that the next general strike won't immobilize Paris, it will strangle Paris from the periphery.

Eleven months ago, I posited in The Ghosts of 1968 (2/14/18) that the idealistic hope that mass demonstrations could trigger real reform had expired. The mass demonstrations of the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) in 2018 dramatically reinvigorated the topic.

I don't see the yellow vest uprising as idealistically fueled; it's fueled by desperation and what Francis Fukuyama termed the working classes' "perception of invisibility" in a recent essay (Against Identity Politics (Foreign Affairs, Sept/Oct. 2018), a view echoed by French geographer / author Christophe Guilluy who said that "the French people are using the gilets jaunes to say we exist."

Unstoppable": Christophe Guilluy on the cultural divide driving the yellow vests (via Arshad A.)
Guilluy: "Not only does peripheral France fare badly in the modern economy, it is also culturally misunderstood by the elite. The yellow-vest movement is a truly 21st-century movement in that it is cultural as well as political. Cultural validation is extremely important in our era.

One illustration of this cultural divide is that most modern, progressive social movements and protests are quickly endorsed by celebrities, actors, the media and the intellectuals. But none of them approve of the gilets jaunes. Their emergence has caused a kind of psychological shock to the cultural establishment. It is exactly the same shock that the British elites experienced with the Brexit vote and that they are still experiencing now, three years later."

Interviewer: How have the working-classes come to be excluded?

Guilluy: "All the growth and dynamism is in the major cities, but people cannot just move there. The cities are inaccessible, particularly thanks to mounting housing costs. The big cities today are like medieval citadels. It is like we are going back to the city-states of the Middle Ages. Funnily enough, Paris is going to start charging people for entry, just like the excise duties you used to have to pay to enter a town in the Middle Ages.

The cities themselves have become very unequal, too. The Parisian economy needs executives and qualified professionals. It also needs workers, predominantly immigrants, for the construction industry and catering et cetera. Business relies on this very specific demographic mix. The problem is that ‘the people’ outside of this still exist. In fact, ‘Peripheral France’ actually encompasses the majority of French people."

Interviewer: What role has the liberal metropolitan elite played in this?

Guilluy: We have a new bourgeoisie, but because they are very cool and progressive, it creates the impression that there is no class conflict anymore. It is really difficult to oppose the hipsters when they say they care about the poor and about minorities.
But actually, they are very much complicit in relegating the working classes to the sidelines. Not only do they benefit enormously from the globalised economy, but they have also produced a dominant cultural discourse which ostracises working-class people.

The middle-class reaction to the yellow vests has been telling. Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore.

Now the elites are afraid. For the first time, there is a movement which cannot be controlled through the normal political mechanisms. The gilets jaunes didn’t emerge from the trade unions or the political parties. It cannot be stopped. There is no ‘off’ button. Either the intelligentsia will be forced to properly acknowledge the existence of these people, or they will have to opt for a kind of soft totalitarianism."

Mobilizing 80,000 heavily armed "security forces" is more like hard totalitarianism, justified, of course, by a fatuous claim of defending "the social order," i.e. the complete domination of elites.

But the French elites are discovering the disconcerting reality that it's impossible to defend every traffic-speed camera, every bank, etc. from sabotage.

Yellow vests knock out 60% of all speed cameras in France

The class analysis of the current crisis is now coming into focus: a reversal of polarity from the 1968 general strike of elite students and labor unions. Fifty years ago, the students of the elite Paris universities garnered the support of the labor unions and this combined force nearly toppled the government with a general strike.

Now, students of the elite Paris universities are complicit supporters of the technocrat elite, as the most fervent hope of most of these students is to nail down a position in the technocrat elite threatened by the yellow vest dissenters.
The labor unions are also missing in action, as they are now adjuncts of the ruling elites, feeding at the same trough of tax revenues and corporate globalization-financialization profits.

The gilets jaunes / yellow vests are a working class revolt against the elites and those who identify with the elites: the fake-progressive hipsters, the aspiring technocrats and the comfortably secure state unions, all of whom are now on the elite side of the barricades.

The Paris elites and their enablers may find that the next general strike won't immobilize Paris, it will strangle Paris from the periphery. The unions which were on the democratic side of the barricades 50 years ago may find their identification with the ruling elite challenged, and they'll be forced to either side with the authentic working class (yellow vests) in a general strike or throw their support behind the undemocratic technocrat elites that run France for their own benefit.

The coming general strike may not echo 1968: rather than a grand confrontation that invites the elites' brutal paramilitary suppression, the working class dissenters may wage a guerrilla / asymmetric warfare campaign of sabotage and fleeting demonstrations that exhausts the paramilitary "security forces" and increases the political and financial costs of the elites' suppression.

The fake-progressive hipsters claiming to be anti-fascist are themselves the anti-working class fascists, and they're finally being called out on their self-serving hypocrisy.

"On Tuesday, the person picked to lead the country's planned "great debate" on the issues resigned over her €14,666 monthly salary (£13,200; $16,800)" which is $200,000 annually, roughly seven or eight times the average worker's salary.

That's the class division in a nutshell. The fake-progressive technocrats are skimming $200,000 a year to defend an indefensible undemocratic neofeudal system of exploitation that handsomely benefits the few at the expense of the many.

Ed 7 mths ago
France's "Yellow Vests" have taken to the streets for a 10th straight weekend of anti-government protests, despite attempts by President Emmanuel Macron to channel their anger into a series of town hall debates.

The president went on the counter-offensive this week with the launch of his "grand national debate", spending hours in rural France debating with disgruntled mayors.

But tens of thousands of "yellow vests" refused Saturday to demobilise.

In Paris, several thousand people, many waving placards calling for Macron to resign or condemning police violence, marched in freezing temperatures.

The rally in Paris, as well as those in several other cities, ended in sporadic clashes, with police using tear gas and water cannon to disperse hooded protesters who threw paving stones and bottles.

Ed 7 mths ago
84,000 Yellow Vest protesters take to the streets across six cities as they attack a bank and riot beside Napoleon's tomb in Paris on the TENTH weekend of demonstrations


Ed 7 mths ago
The success of yellow vest protesters in France hinges on their whiteness – and this is why

The Clash’s song “White Riot” would be a fitting musical accompaniment to the on-going yellow vests insurrection against French president Emmanuel Macron’s government. During weeks of disturbances, there has barely been a brown or black face in sight.

This absence is particularly notable in major cities such as Paris, where vast suburban communities habitually blamed for all social ills have shown next to no interest in joining.

Everybody, from the casseurs – a French word for those who go out to destroy property – to thugs fighting the police, has been overwhelmingly fair-skinned. Typically, reactionary commentators and other bigots who like to dwell on a mythical “enemy within” are very disappointed by this.

When the Arc de Triomphe itself was ransacked by a mob just before Christmas, there was an outcry, especially when a statue of Marianne – the female personification of the French Republic – had her marble face smashed in. Neo-nazis obsessed with the Third Reich have since been implicated in the desecration, which caused more than €1m worth of damage.

Ed 7 mths ago
“The founder of a movement to unite Germany’s left wing has said it will take to the streets in 2019, inspired by the gilet jaunes protests in France.

“Sahra Wagenknecht, who set up Aufstehen (Get Up) in September, said the French demonstrations encouraged her to believe it was possible to effect change without being a political party. She cited growing inequality in Germany and frustration over the government’s failure to adequately tackle it as a powerful motivating force for a protest movement.”

Ed 7 mths ago
Dystopian scenes from Paris.... (videos)

'I live in france. You cannot imagine the level of disgust of french people. They have lost all faith. Macron is 100% hated. Macron regime is destroying the country.'

Ed 7 mths ago
I wonder what would happen if.... the yellow vests were to park thousands of their cars blockading major roads into cities across France?

It's happened before....

French farmers blockade border roads in protest against cheap imports

Demonstrations against falling prices prevent over 400 trucks from bringing in goods from Germany and Spain as president insists government is ‘by their side’

Ed 7 mths ago
Unrest in France: No End in Sight

The third group is extremely large: it is the rest of the population. The upper class treat them as regrettable dead weight and expect nothing from them except silence and submission. Its members often have a hard time making ends meet.

They pay taxes but can see that a growing portion is being used to subsidize the very people who drove them out of their suburban homes.

For the moment, Macron does not seem to want to recognize that these people even exist.

When Macron lowered the taxes of the wealthiest but increased the taxes of these "peripherals" by means of a fuel tax, it was seen as the last straw -- in addition to his arrogant condescension.

"Today, most of those who protest do not attack the police. But instead of acting to bring down the violence, the police are receiving orders pushing them to be very violent. I do not blame the police. I blame those who give them orders". — Xavier Lemoine, the mayor of Montfermeil, a city in the Eastern suburbs of Paris where the 2005 riots were extremely destructive,

Saturday, January 26th 2019. "Yellow vests" protests were being organized in the main cities of France. Mobilization was not weakening. Support from the population had decreased slightly but was still huge (60%-70%, according to polls). The main slogan has remained the same since November 17, 2018: "Macron must resign". In December, another slogan was added: "Citizens' initiative referendum".

The government and French President Emmanuel Macron have been doing everything they can to crush the movement. They have tried insults, defamation and have said the demonstrators were both "seditious people" wishing to overthrow the institutions and fascist "brown shirts". On December 31, Macron described them, as "hateful crowds". The presence of some anti-Semites led a government spokesman (incorrectly) to describe the entire movement as "anti-Semitic".

The Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, ordered the police to resort to a degree of violence not seen since the time of the Algerian war (1954-62). During the two last decades in France, other riots have taken place many times. In 2005, for instance, when the whole country was subjected to arson and riots for weeks, the number of wounded rioters remained low. But violence has consequences. In just the last few weeks, 1,700 protesters were wounded, some seriously.

Nineteen lost an eye; four lost a hand. Although French police officers do not use lethal weapons, they do use rubber ball launchers and often fire at protesters' faces -- a target prohibited by the current rules of engagement. The French are also the only police force in Europe to use Sting-Ball grenades.

Macron has never treated protesters as people who have legitimate claims, so he has never paid attention to their claims. He only agreed to suspend the additional fuel tax, which was to have been begun in January, and to grant a slight increase in the minimum wage -- all of which he did only after weeks of protests.


Ed 7 mths ago
Protester has hand RIPPED OFF during Yellow Vest march in Paris (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Ed 6 mths ago
'It was his right to protest, now he has no livelihood’ – Yellow Vest on demonstrator who lost hand

The father of the Yellow Vest protester who had his hand blown off by a gas grenade in Paris on Saturday says he plans a lawsuit, while his comrade says it is symbolic that the injury took place outside the National Assembly.
“He has no hand left below the wrist,” Bernard Maillet, father of Sebastien Maillet, told RT during an interview in its Paris studio, adding that his son also sustained an eye injury and does not fully remember the traumatic incident.

“We plan to lodge a complaint, and we will see what happens from there,” he said.

An activist who goes under the name Boudjema, and who was protesting alongside Maillet, said that the injury – one of hundreds sustained since the protests began in November – “concerns all the Yellow Vests.”

Ed 6 mths ago
Far-right yellow vests and far-left yellow vests fight one another, Lyon, France

Ed 6 mths ago
“Unless Europe can demonstrate greater economic vibrancy, the protests will escalate. And this is why the new evidence of stagnation is so alarming to the European high command.”

Ed 6 mths ago
‘Anti-Semitism spreading like poison’: France stained by weekend of vandalism & year of hate crimes

France’s interior minister has vowed to take a tougher stance on hatred, after multiple incidents of anti-semitic vandalism, and a spike in anti-Jewish hate crimes last year.

Parisians were greeted with crudely daubed anti-Semitic slogans on shop fronts last weekend, including swastikas sprayed over images of late politician and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil, and the German word for Jews (“Juden”) sprayed on a bagel shop in the city center.

Ed 6 mths ago

Ed 6 mths ago
Dramatic VIDEO shows man being shot in face during Yellow Vest rallies in Paris

Ed 6 mths ago
Sickening moment French police pepper spray disabled protestor in latest round of gilet jaune demos

Video taken in Toulouse shows man in wheelchair being sprayed in the eyes

Ed 6 mths ago

Ed 6 mths ago
Odd... I can't find any references to this incident on CNN, BBC, NYT, etc....

Ed 6 mths ago
Cops pelted with FECAL BOMBS during Yellow Vest protests in Marseille (PHOTO)

The Yellow Vest protesters have apparently adopted an unconventional weapon against the French law enforcement – fecal bombs. At least three policemen have been already affected by them during the most recent protest.

The criminal police (BAC) officers came under the excrement attack in the city of Marseille on Saturday, getting heavily stained by fecal matter. One of the officers has reportedly received injury to insult, sustaining physical damage to his elbow.

Whitemischief 6 mths ago
The shit has hit the fan!

Ed 6 mths ago
Yellow Vests ransack MASONIC LODGE in French village as protest gets out of hand (VIDEO)

A crowd of Yellow Vest protesters broke into and trashed a Masonic lodge in the French village of Tarbes. The ransacking has been condemned by the French government, who accused the protesters of “stupidity” and “intolerance.”

Some 450 protesters had gathered in Tarbes on Saturday for the 17th straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations. Around midnight, La Dépêche paper reported, some protesters began shouting “we’re going to the freemasons!”

A smaller crowd of protesters marched on the Masonic temple, with one battering down the door of the secretive organization’s clubhouse. More protesters pelted rocks at the building and eventually the group forced its way inside.

They overturned furniture, trashed the esoteric art hanging on the walls, and stole four ceremonial swords; they gave these back later on.

Ed 6 mths ago
Across the country, somewhere between 28,000 and 90,000 protesters took to the streets on Saturday to voice their opposition to the policies of unpopular president Emmanuel Macron, which, they say, benefit the rich but not the majority. Some 2,000 protesters have been injured and dozens maimed in clashes with police since November.

The movement’s organizers have planned a massive demonstration for next Saturday, timed to coincide with the end of President Macron’s three-month ‘Great National Debate,’ a public forum aimed at quelling the tide of dissent in France and forging “a new contract with the nation.”

Ed 6 mths ago
French ophthalmologists demand Macron ban rubber bullets as eye injuries spread like ‘EPIDEMIC’

France is experiencing an “epidemic” of eye injuries as police repeatedly deploy golf-ball-sized rubber bullets, France’s top ophthalmologists say, urging President Macron to halt use of the projectiles.

As the Yellow Vest protests enter their 17th consecutive week, the debate around the government’s alleged use of excessive force continues to gain momentum. On Saturday, the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche published a letter to President Macron written by the country’s 35 leading ophthalmologists, in which they asserted that the police’s use of rubber bullets has led to an “epidemic of serious eye injuries.”

Many people risk losing their vision, doctors say, hinting that the current dismal developments are no coincidence as rubber balls fly with great force and are often directed inaccurately.

The letter, which demands “a moratorium” on using rubber bullets, was actually written in early February but only made public a month later to make sure the recipient gets the message, according the newspaper.

French riot police have become notorious for using hand-held guns, locally known as defence-ball launchers or Flash-Balls, during the protests that been ongoing since November.

Ed 5 mths ago
Clashes between Yellow Vest demonstrators and police broke out as rallies intensified on the 18th consecutive weekend of protests. President Emmanuel Macron’s “grand debate” aimed at pacifying the protests ended on Friday.
Saturday’s rally saw thousands of people flooding the streets of downtown Paris, with many wearing black balaclavas and holding French flags.

Violence erupted on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, where protesters congregated to take part in the weekly march which began in November. According to the Associated Press, Paris mobilized more police than in previous weeks in an attempt to stave off unrest. More than 100 demonstrators were arrested by Saturday evening.

Ed 5 mths ago
French firefighters are working to extinguish a blaze in a Paris restaurant seen as a powerful symbol of France's elite that was torched amid yellow vest protest violence.

The flames pouring out of the posh eatery Fouquet's on the Champs-Elysées marked one of the most powerful images on a day of unusual unrest in the French capital.

The restaurant was vandalized Saturday morning and later set ablaze. Several luxury boutiques along the elegant avenue were also ransacked, and kiosks set on fire.!/cpImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_780/france-protests.jpg

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Ed 5 mths ago
The aftermath - video of the weekend's carnage:

Ed 5 mths ago
Macron latest: Under-fire French leader returns from ski trip with Paris in flames

EMMANUEL MACRON was forced to cut short his skiing trip for an emergency meeting with ministers after yellow vest protesters ransacked shops and hurled smoke bombs and bricks at police officers across Paris

Ed 5 mths ago

Ed 5 mths ago

Ed 5 mths ago
War zone.... see the first video

Ed 5 mths ago
“French banks called Saturday for an end to violence against branches, cash machines and personnel as the country braced for a 20th day of “yellow vest” protests. Since the “yellow vest” anti-government protests began in November, more than 760 banks have suffered damage.”

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