by Le Saker Francophone for The Saker Blog
Well, that’s not the case. Of course the decrease in the number of demonstrators is huge. From 300,000 at the end of 2018 to 30,000 by mid-2019. But every Saturday these few tens of thousands of irreducible GJs continue to brave police violence, unfair custody and threats just to remind Macron that “we are here, we are here, even if Macron doesn’t want us” as their anthem proclaims. To remind him that if he thinks he has won the battle, he still has not won this war.
Of course, the government and the corporate media have done their best to destroy the movement. More than 5,000 Gj arrested, thousands in police custody, hundreds jailed, nearly 2,000 wounded, dozens of facial and skull fractures, 12 lost one eye, a repression not seen since the Second World War, in an almost total silence of the corporate French media…. Coupled with a relentless media propaganda to present the Gj as hooligans thinking only about breaking windows and fighting the cops. The group’s leaders and intellectuals have all been subject to direct threats and attacks. Lastly, Etienne Chouard, the promoter of the Referendum for Citizens’ Initiative, the RIC, has just been called a denier of holocaust, close to the extreme right and therefore anti-Semitic. The classic attack against all those who frighten the oligarchic power. In short, the government/media pair has won the first battle but the war is still raging.
But this is not the most important information about this movement. The most important legacy left by these six months of unprecedented popular discontent is that a large part of these Gj understood that it was essential to take back the political life of the country in their own hands and no longer leave it to politicians who were increasingly sold, corrupted, and under the orders of the highest bidder. They understand than now the battle is not so much in the streets than in the political arena. That the era of representative democracy is over and that the era of participative democracy is coming to life.
To this end, they have started to create discussion groups, constitutional assemblies, initiatives at the village and town level, public promotion campaigns, discussion groups on the theme of the Grand Débat and the development of the RIC, social actions such as the Jardins du Nous, a whole bunch of popular initiatives that are flourishing throughout France in this spring of 2019. The same applies to the media, with Gj magazine, convergence sites such as the Ligne Jaune and even TV channels such as TVGJ. All these initiatives allow the French to regain hope for a future they will create, by and for themselves. A true French Spring is taking place, far from the microphones and consumer cameras that prefer not to show such initiatives to the sheep that are still sleeping, as this could wake them up. Of course, under such harsh political conditions, these spring flowers will take several years to turn into seeds. But I have no doubt that they will succeed, let us just give them time to mature in the shadows.
Blind to this whole underground movement, the government and the media keep on pretending that nothing happened. Of course, the expected Macron’s defeat in the European elections did not happen, even if the RN of Marine le Pen came out on top, but by a mere 1%. Of course, a large part of the French no longer support the movement because the media propaganda has done its job well and has managed to make the remaining Gj look like a group of inept vandals thinking only of giving the birdie to society without proposing anything constructive. Chances are that Macron will consider that he has won the war and therefore take advantage of it to accelerate the speed of his “reforms”, i.e. that he will continue to sell the public assets to the French oligarchs and to destroy what remains of the social benefits that our ancestors fought for.
But his blindness may backfire because if the movement has indeed run out of steam, the problems are still there and will only get worse under the effects of Macron’s “reforms”. Prices are still rising, with gasoline prices now higher than they were in November 2018, for example. There will therefore only need a small trigger to rekindle the social fire and, this time, the Gj will be much better prepared, politically and socially.
We are therefore looking forward to the municipal elections, to be held in March 2020, which will be the first full-scale political test for this new movement known as the Gilets Jaunes.
—Le Saker Francophone
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