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Unrest in France: No End in Sight

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“.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Three Reasons Macron is a Hypocrite when it Comes to Venezuela

Three Reasons Macron is a Hypocrite when it Comes to Venezuela

macron venezuela
Paris (GPA) – Emmanuel Macron recently voiced support for opposition in Venezuela even as his own country is ground to a halt every weekend by protests.

There is an overused saying that “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” While these few words may be cliche there is definitely one man that they can be applied to after this weekend: Emmanuel Macron.

Even though the French President is into the third month of protests against his government, he has decided to weigh in on the legitimacy of another country’s government and his latest outrageous statements just highlight the hypocrisy of Macron and Western leaders in general.

Macron: Maduro is ‘illegitimate’

Emmanuel Macron is a very unpopular man. Yet, if the French President is to be believed, there is a man who is more unpopular than him that needs to be removed from office immediately. This man is, of course, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro whose approval rating is estimated somewhere around twenty percent by Western media outlets (many with no journalists or pollsters in Venezuela).

The irony of Emmanuel Macron saying these approval ratings make a President “illegitimate” is that his own aren’t looking much better. Following the eleventh weekend of the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ protests, Macron has seen a slight bump in approval ratings (according to pro-Macron media) to a paltry thirty percent. 

Thirty percent isn’t much better than 20 but there were also polls during the earlier stages of the Gilets Jaunes protests where just over seventy percent of French citizens polled did not have faith in Macron’s government. This means that at one point during the protests that are still sweeping through Paris every weekend, Macron was just as “illegitimate” as he claims Nicolas Maduro is.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Yellow Vests, the Crisis of the Welfare State and Socialism

The Yellow Vests, the Crisis of the Welfare State and Socialism

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.

Old and young, workers, retirees, artisans, some small business owners, farmers, students, self-employed and unemployed people are converging to protest not only Macron’s gloves-off reforms in favor of capital, finance and the ultra rich, but especially their own decline in living standards. Increasingly aggressive capitalism, the dismantling of the welfare state, and deindustrialization have eroded standards of living for forty years, and have stepped up pace with the crisis of 2008 and Macron’s “neoliberal” reforms dictated by the European Union.

Yellow vested demonstrators are fed up with running out of money before the end of the month, job insecurity, rising taxes on the working class, insufficient and decreasing pensions, falling social benefits, and working multiple jobs or extra long hours to make ends meet. France’s broad middle class is downwardly mobile. People are also protesting rising energy costs, job losses due to offshoring, deteriorating working conditions, homelessness on the rise, increasing numbers of undernourished children and people scavenging for food, underfunded public services such as hospitals, schools, post offices and transportation, especially in rural areas, and a host of other issues.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests

Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests

A State of Emergency That Does Not Say His Name

According to Vincent Brengarth, a lawyer at the Paris Bar, in recent years we have been witnessing a disturbing drift in police repression in France, more specifically since November 2015 when the state of emergency was pronounced and extended several times, before being integrated into common law. We would henceforth be under “a state of emergency that does not say its name,” with preventive arrests only based on suspicion, without concrete evidence of an offence.

Figures from the Ministry of Law Enforcement

On Saturday, 8th December, the “Yellow Vests” movement maintained its progress as it gathered a total of 136,000 demonstrators throughout the country (including nearly 10,000 in Paris), a comparable level on Saturday the 1stof December while 106,301 people were counted during the previous weekend, according to the, regularly underestimated, figures of the Ministry of the Interior. In the wake of the mobilisation on the 1st of December, the Minister Christophe Castaner was quick to review the figures of the 24th of November, as he re-evaluated the number of protesters to 166,000 people instead of the previously announced 106,000. We may notice this jump of nearly 60,000 people that suddenly appeared in the Department’s own numbers, an accounting manipulation that allows to say that the movement is decreasing…

Paris on insurgent alert

For this fourth Saturday of demonstrations for the Yellow Vests, 89,000 members of the so-called “law” enforcement authorities were mobilised, including 8,000 in Paris, supported by 14 “VBRG” (Véhicules Blindés à Roues de la Gendarmerie – Wheeled Armoured Vehicles of the Gendarmerie).

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Outright revolution in France: Macron has to go (Update 16:30 More and more people join the movement. )

Outright revolution in France: Macron has to go (Update 16:30 More and more people join the movement. ) 

All over French are protest again. Our impression is that the movement is growing until Macron resigns.

Paris

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

France’s Ghosts of ’68: General Strike vs. Macron and the Technocrat Elites

France’s Ghosts of ’68: General Strike vs. Macron and the Technocrat Elites

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.
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. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Are France And Germany About To Form An EU Superstate?

Are France And Germany About To Form An EU Superstate?


Inching ever closer towards an EUSSR.

As the fire rages on, the citizenry floods the streets, and political turmoil reigns supreme in Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are telling everyone to please disperse because everything is fine and there’s nothing to see here.

Thanks to 2016’s historic Brexit vote, the European Union mandate is being threatened. Despite the denials emanating from left-leaning news outlets, other nations are interested in their own emancipation from Brussels, whether it is the growing Frexit movement or the Grexit push. It’s only a matter of time before this failed experiment enters the dustbins of history and will be remembered as fondly as the Ice Capades or Nickelback.

To stave off the eurozone’s inevitable demise, the bloc’s two biggest markets are in the beginning phases of forming a superstate, and it could present the next step toward global government. France and Germany will sign a so-called twinning pact at the end of January, an unprecedented policy maneuver that could serve as a blueprint for the future of the E.U.

Twinning

Under this new agreement, the two nations will share defense, economic, and foreign policies and unite in a diplomatic front.

Ministers from both governments will be permitted to sit in each other’s cabinet meetings, policies will be presented with the goal of moving towards economic convergence, and security forces will cooperate closely in tackling organized crime and terrorism. For now, the primary objective is to get Germany accepted as a permanent member of the United Nation’s Security Council.

Perhaps the most terrifying prospect of them all is the promotion of Eurodistricts. This will consist of the Franco-German partnership merging public transportation, water, and electricity networks.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fake News? How About No News?

Fake News? How About No News?

Trump gets flak for characterizing the mainstream press as purveyors of Fake News. But what about no news at all?

Isn’t lack of coverage even worse than biased coverage?

Well, how much news have you heard or read about the gilets jaunes – or “yellow vest” – protests in France? CNN hasn’t got anything on its main page today (Jan. 9). Neither did NBC or CBS. Lots of the usual – endless – carpet-chewing coverage of Trump, though. And also of such important stories as “Want to Pay off Your Mortgage? Try Frugal Minimalism.”

You might think France, a major western European country, coming unglued – and on the verge of its government outright banning “unauthorized” criticism of its actions – might at least be  . . .  well,  news.

Instead, nothing.

Which is very interesting, given what the yellow vests are protesting. This being chiefly the purposely punitive taxes on fuel – diesel especially – imposed by the French President, Emmanuel Macron. In the name of “climate change” – but really in the name of squeezing average Frenchmen (and women) out of their cars. These taxes – already extortionate and brutally regressive – were on track to increase the cost of a gallon of fuel to more than $7.

This brought the French not to their knees – but to the streets. The yellow vests – which are reflective jackets every French motorist is required by law to keep in their vehicle, to be worn in the event of an emergency – were donned for a different kind of emergency.

And Macron buckled. The tax hike has been rescinded. But did you read about it?

Probably not – unless you went out of your way to look for it. Mainstream press coverage of this effective protest has been as scanty as its coverage of the reason for the yellow vest protests – which by the way continue, notwithstanding Macron’s retreat.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Political Nightmares Multiply for Europe Ahead of Davos

Political Nightmares Multiply for Europe Ahead of Davos

Europe’s dreams of integration are slipping away as the people wake up from the nightmare erected for them.

As we approach Act IX of the Yellow Vest protests in France and the threats of creating bank runs we get the news that both Presidents Trump and Macron will not be attending the convocation of globalists known as the World Economic Forum at Davos.

Trump’s not attending because it’s clear he’s no longer a member of The Davos Crowd and Macron isn’t because any public appearance by him will double the number of people donning high visibility safety gear and taking to the streets.

It almost feels like we’ve reached Peak Davos, with these announcements. But, clearly neither of these men are invited because in the minds of The Davos Crowd they no longer figure in their long-term plans.

Macron not attending is also a sign his government will be sacrificed on the altar of the Yellow Vests in the near future.

The Yellow Vest protests will have to be dealt with in a substantive manner that goes far beyond a few temporary injunctions against higher taxes. They are now vandalizing another symbol of middle class oppression in France, speed cameras.

All of the governments of Europe are broke. And the speed camera is simply another in a long line of instances of them trying to squeeze blood from the now impoverished and shrinking middle class.

The symbology of them smashing speed cameras and demanding their money from the banks cannot be clearer. When you take everything from someone, when he has nothing left to lose, he becomes free.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Macron – No taxation without representation

Macron – No taxation without representation

The mass protests on the streets of French cities recall the first years of the American War of Independence. In the years before and during the American Independence Movement, the resentment that independence advocates harboured was that the Thirteen Colonies were obliged to pay taxes to the British Crown without being represented in the British Parliament by their own elected deputies. The slogan of the founding fathers of American democracy at the time was “No taxation without representation”. Nowadays it could be inscribed on the flags of the Yellow Vests, the movement that opposes additional taxation by Macron’s government. The government represents the interests of the Brussels technocrats, i.e. bankers and large corporations, and not those of the French people. Brussels does not allow holes in the state budget, does not tolerate anyone who does not abide by its fiscal guidelines. The French were persuaded that they retained sovereignty, although for years the princes from Brussels (commissioners of the revolution against sovereignty of states – Timmermans, Juncker and others) have been setting the course for France. Although the French deputies allegedly represent their people in the European Parliament, they are not proposed directly by the people, but by the parties. Most voters have swallowed the bait for years that the parties act in their interests, but even the dimmest dummy gets wise over the years. Voters in the 21st century must not be treated as they were in the 19th: the first cracks in the beautiful image of the handsome president, whom the German media describe as “visionary”, appeared when he reduced property tax on real estate. French citizens could not swallow it. Though the move was supposed to keep money in the country, Macron was denounced by low earners as the “president of the rich”.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Yellow Vests Advocate Taking Money Out of Banks in France to Topple Macron

The Yellow Vest Movement in France is turning to an all-out war against Macron. Many are now advocating withdrawing their money from backs in order to topple Macron. Yellow Vest activists ‘Gilets Jaunes’, are now supported by up to 70% of the population. This new effort stepping up their pressure to de-throne President Macron and regain French sovereignty from the hands of the EU elites and globalists is becoming really intense as they call on the people to remove Euros from French banks to destabilize the regime.

Now we are witnessing the further spread of the Yellow Vest Movement as Taiwanese demonstrators have also launched their ‘yellow vest’ movement to protest taxes. The Yellow Vest Movement has also now emerged in Lebanon as people there to are calling for “Revolution” to unfold.

Macron May Trigger Debt Crisis with Yellow Vest Crackdown

Macron May Trigger Debt Crisis with Yellow Vest Crackdown

The Yellow Vests have reached critical mass. And the movement has now created the perfect storm for President Emmanuel Macron.

He can no longer ignore it, even though he tried to do so. And his lack of understanding of the situation as well as his open contempt for his opposition has placed him in a political vice.

Ignoring the problem will only make him look weaker and more disinterested. He could address the situation, put France first and step aside for new elections, which is the decent thing to do.

But, he’s chosen the predictable third option, crack down on the protesters in a futile show of strength. Authoritarians react to challenges like clockwork.

Disobedience is met with violence. More disobedience is met with more violence.

Before last weekend’s Act VIII protests Macron had one of the Yellow Vests original organizers, Éric Drouet, a truck driver, arrested and released pending a trial for “organizing an undeclared demonstration” while meeting with friends at a restaurant.

Guns Not Butter

Update: Now PM Edouard Philippe is signaling a new law that will ban all forms of protests. According to the latest from Zerohedge:

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presented the new initiative to curtail the violence and unrest while targeting “troublemakers” and banning anonymity through wearing masks on French TV channel TF1 on Monday. He said the law would give police authority crack down on “unauthorized demonstrations” at a moment when police are already arresting citizens for merely wearing a yellow vest, even if they are not directly engaged in protests in some cases.
PM Philippe said the government would support a “new law punishing those who do not respect the requirement to declare [protests], those who take part in unauthorized demonstrations and those who arrive at demonstrations wearing face masks”.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

France in Free Fall

Macron Arrests “Yellow Vest” Organizer In Escalation Which Will Surely Calm Things Down

French authorities have arrested a key organizer of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement for leading an unauthorized demonstration, signaling a crackdown on the anti-government demonstrators after nearly two months of violence-filled protests.

Eric Drouet, a truck driver from the suburbs of Paris, was arrested in Paris on Wednesday evening near the iconic Champs-Élysées avenue – a prime location for the yellow vests to gather. Drouet was detained while leading a commemoration of yellow vests who have died since the movement’s inception, most of whom were hit by cars during protests at roundabouts throughout the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The arrest and detention of Mr. Drouet is completely unjustified and arbitrary,” said Drouet’s attorney in a Thursday statement.

The coming weeks will test whether Mr. Macron’s government can stop the protests, which have slowed the French economy and are undermining his plans for a free-market overhaul of France. Participation waned during the holiday season, but yellow vests are organizing new demonstrations this Saturday in Paris and elsewhere. Protesters continue to camp out at roundabouts across the countryside.

The government has struggled to contain the grass-roots movement, which has no organized leadership and has refused to declare demonstrations to the authorities as required by French law.

Mr. Drouet has emerged as one of its most high-profile members, appearing in the media frequently and calling for protests on Facebook. Mr. Drouet called for Wednesday evening’s commemoration, giving the authorities an opening to detain him. –WSJ

The yellow vest protests began as a demonstration against a climate change fuel tax, and quickly spread throughout France as a widespread rejection of French President Emmanuel Macron and his administration. Rioting yellow vests have clashed with police nearly every weekend since the protests began, with upscale Paris neighborhoods experiencing shattered storefronts and burning cars.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Three Things That Will Definitely Happen In 2019

Three Things That Will Definitely Happen In 2019

Much about 2019 is uncertain. But a few things are pretty much guaranteed, including the following:

Government debt will rise at an accelerating rate
Like a life-long dieter who finally gives up and decides to eat himself to death, the US is now committed to trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see. And that’s – get this – assuming no recession in the coming decade. During the next downturn that trillion will become two or more, but in 2019 another trillion-plus is guaranteed.

US government debt three things for 2019

But the US debt binge is downright orderly compared to much of the rest of the world.

After Paris nearly burned to the ground last month, president Macron responded – surprise! – with massively higher spending:

Macron Bets Spending Binge Can Save His Plan to Transform France

(Bloomberg) – Emmanuel Macron is rolling the dice with France’s public finances to keep his grand plans for the economy alive after weeks of protests on the streets.

Macron’s government will set out a raft of measures to try to calm the so-called Yellow Vest protests on Thursday and they will almost certainly see France breach the European Union’s budget deficit ceiling next year.

The 40-year-old president is arguing the concessions are necessary to maintain public support for his efforts to make the economy more efficient.

“Macron is now facing an impossible trilemma,” said Bernhard Bartels, associate director at Frankfurt-based Scope Ratings. “You can’t have have popular support, ongoing structural reforms and fiscal consolidation all at the same time.”

Macron’s announcement Monday that he’ll raise the minimum wage, abolish taxes on overtime, and get rid of a controversial tax on pensions will send next year’s budget deficit to about 3.5 percent of output, up from a previous target of 2.9 percent, according to media reports. That’s well beyond the 3 percent limit imposed on members of the euro zone.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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