DISPATCHES FROM MOON OF ALABAMA, BY “B”
Les Déplorables Demand The Fall Of The Regime
Dateline: 8 December 2018
Today we will again (read the comments) see large, and mostly peaceful gilets jaunes gatherings all over France to protest the neo-liberal policies of the Macron regime. The biggest ones will naturally occur in the capital Paris. They are likely to later develop into riots. The regime ordered 89,000 policemen onto the streets to counter any potential violence. 8,000 of them will be in Paris alone.
A problem is that police are often the cause of riots. Dressed like storm troopers and angry after way too many hours on the street they tend to attack with much brutality even when calm defense would be more appropriate.
After last week’s protest the Macron regime first delayed and then abolished the planned fuel tax hike that was the immediate cause of the yellow vest protests. That was too little too late and made his regime look weak. The people are now demanding more measures like a reintroduction of the wealth tax which Macron had abolished in one of his first acts in power.
Over the last week firemen, ambulance drivers, students and the administrative police union have joined the protests.
Luxury shops have been boarded up, museums and landmarks were closed. (An English language livestream can be watched here. Please point to others in the comments.) The police are running an early interdiction tactic, closing off roads and applying tear gas to kettle the people and to prevent larger gatherings at the Champs-Élysées. Hundreds have already been arrested. Meanwhile the protesters sing la Marseillaise. It is way too early for the police to use such force and it is not going to work. This only increases the anger of the protestors and will cause more conflagrations.
Les déplorables demand the fall of the regime.
One woman makes an good point. Yes, the violence as seen in Paris last weekend was not nice. But only after last week’s protest went violent were the yellow vests really noted by the media and by the otherwise tone deaf politicians.
If the protestors today try to storm the Bastille, the Elyssée palace or whatever, if there are more casualties, more people will join protests and strikes during the next week. Macron will come under even more pressure. He will have to dismiss his prime minister and government. More pressure and he will have to dissolve the parliament and call for new elections. That would likely mean the end of his policies of further enriching the very rich while impoverishing the lower middle class and the poor.
Posted by b on December 8, 2018 at 06:26 AM | Permalink
The People Of France Reject Macron’s Policies – How Long Can He Survive?
Dateline: 3 December 2018
The current wave of protests in France, which started two weeks ago, is growing in impact and applied violence. On Saturday some 120,000 people took part in demonstrations around the country. The movement was initiated from the political right but many other parties also support it. Most of the participants seem to take part spontaneously. The movement is supposedly leaderless. But it is too early to exclude that there is some larger organizing power behind it.
In short: The Arab spring arrived in Europe.
“The people demand the fall of the regime.”
Like the 1968 May protests that started in Paris this new movement will have echoes in other countries.
While mostly peaceful protest were held in all parts of France the situation in Paris caught the most attention. On Saturday the protesters stormed the Arc de Triomphe. They rearranged the interior, damaged a statue of Marianne, and redecorated the outside.
The immediate reason for the protests are an increase of the fuel tax that President Marcron defends as a step to fight climate change. But the fuel tax is only the last drop of a steady stream of price increases for the poor and middle class while their income stagnates. Meanwhile the rich are receiving one tax cut after the other. The fuel price is important for anyone who needs to drive to work. Public transport may work well within the Paris ring-road but most people live beyond the view of the Elysées and do need a car.
On Saturday the peaceful protesters in Paris were accompanied by ‘moderate rebels’. They left behind the usual trail but are still waiting for foreign powers to arm them.
Trump does not get along with Macron. How long will it take for him to suggests a no-fly zone?
The use of yellow warning vests, gilets jaunes in french, give the protester a smell of an arranged ‘color revolution’. Then again – it is always helpful in demonstrations to distinguish one’s side. These warning vests are mandatory emergency equipment in each car, they are readily available and sell for as little as €0.65.
After seeing the same neoliberal policies executed under the presidencies of Sarkozy and Hollande, the French people despised both the conservative party as well as the ‘socialists’. But they well still not ready to move to a more radical parties on the right or left side.
The powers that be put up a former Rothschild banker as an alternative to the established parties and the media pushed him over the finish line. But Macron is even more neoliberal that Sarkozy or Hollande ever were and he is way more aloof and arrogant than both of them. He resembles a modern Marie Antoinette: ‘If they don’t like my fuel taxes let them buy electric cars.’
Macron’s next projects are a pension reform and changes in the unemployment insurance. Both will cause more protests. Polls show that the French public overwhelmingly supports the yellow vests protests and their demands while Macron’s popularity has fallen from 55% in May 2017 to some 27% now.
Some commentators blame the EU for Macron’s policies. But that excuse is false. The EU did not demand the elimination of the wealth tax in France. Moreover – the EU implements the policy guidelines the large EU countries set out. Macron could surely change those if he wanted to.
On Saturday both sides were violent. But Macron and his police are far from innocent in the escalation. On May 1 Macron’s top security aide Alexandre Benalla was filmed beating up protesters. In July a scandal ensued when Macron attempted to cover up the case. He sees violence as an appropriate way to handle resistance against his polices.
On Saturday the police even deployed sniper teams on roofs.
Today an 80 year old lady in Marseille got killed when a police tear gas canister hit her face.
“The violence comes from Macron. He seems to take pleasure in humiliating ordinary people. With with the Benalla affair, we saw the violence coming out directly, not only from the Elysées, but from the mind of the president.
By refusing to enact a moratorium on the taxes that provoked the protests, the govt is enacting the strategy of chaos whereby if these protests, which are popular now, continue, a layer of the population will rise against them.”
Macron might enact a state of emergency but that would only fuel the protests. It is doubtful that Macron’s plan of a ‘strategy of chaos’ will work. The French president gets elected for 5 years. Only 18 monthS in Macron managed to move a large majority against him. It is unlikely that he will serve out his full term.
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