Jump to content
MadonnaNation.com Forums

Recommended Posts

In France, the pain behind the ‘yellow vest’ protests is felt mostly outside Paris

The scenes from Paris have been arresting, as protesters marched down the Champs-Elysees, the grandest avenue in the city, hurling projectiles at police and being tear-gassed in return.

But it is in smaller French towns and cities such as this one, nestled in the foothills near the Swiss border, where the anger is most deeply felt.

People here are dependent on their cars, and so they are especially frustrated with rising diesel prices and a new gasoline tax — the issue at the core of the national “yellow vest” movement that has produced marches and roadblocks throughout France in recent weeks.

“Ask a Parisian — for him none of this is an issue, because he doesn’t need a car,” said Marco Pavan, 55, who said he has driven trucks and taxi cabs in and around Besancon for the better part of 30 years.

“We live on the side of a mountain,” Pavan said. “There’s no bus or train to take us anywhere. We have to have a car.”

Many people here are also keenly frustrated with their president. They see Emmanuel Macron as part of an elitist coterie that neither understands nor cares how they live, or how the decline of traditional industry has hollowed out their city and limited their prospects.

“And then there’s the disdain — he openly mocks people,” said Yves Rollet, 67, a Besancon retiree who was passing the time on Wednesday listening to a Bach concerto in his parked car. A yellow vest was visible through the windshield.

Rollet said he participated in last weekend’s protest because he was fed up with how Macron governs monarchically and is dismissive of poor and working people.

Rollet recalled an incident in September when Macron told a young, unemployed landscaper it should be easy to find a job. “If you’re willing and motivated, in hotels, cafes and restaurants, construction, there’s not a single place I go where they don’t say they’re looking for people,” the French president, a former investment banker, said to the young man.

“We called him the ‘president of the rich’ from the beginning,” Rollet said. Noting how often Macron, who ran as a centrist, employs the phrase “at the same time” in his speeches, Rollet added, “Well, he’s ‘at the same time’ the president of the right and the president of the right.”

On Saturday, roughly 75,000 people took to the streets across the country in a third act of the protest. In Paris, yellow vest supporters torched cars, attacked shop windows and clashed with police. Local authorities announced that at least 92 people were injured in Paris, including 14 police officers.

In Buenos Aires for a Group of 20 summit, Macron vowed that violent protesters would be “held responsible for their acts.”

For his part, Macron last week sought to be empathetic, and more humble, while also insisting he will not cave to violent demands or revoke the gas tax — a product of the country’s climate change commitments. “One cannot be on Monday for the environment and on Tuesday against the increase of fuel prices,” he said in a long-planned speech on energy.

Macron acknowledged French policy has not done much to address the expense of living in big French cities other than to encourage people to live further out and buy cars.

“They are not the perpetuators of this situation, they are simply the first victims . . . ” he said. “We must, therefore, listen to the protests of social alarm, but we must not do so by renouncing our responsibilities for today and tomorrow, because there’s also an environmental alarm.”

Since his election in May 2017, Macron has been one of the world’s leading advocates for action to combat climate change. He tried, unsuccessfully, to convince President Trump to remain within the 2015 Paris climate accords, and he hosted a second major climate summit in Paris in December 2017.

France has more diesel cars than any other country in Europe. Higher taxes on diesel have been part of the climate bargain from the beginning and have also featured in global guidelines for years. Paris and the surrounding suburbs, meanwhile, have moved to ban older model diesel cars from their roads. And Macron’s government committed France to banning the sales of all gasoline-powered cars by 2040.

Macron, however, has been criticized for doing less on climate change than he promised. His environment minister quit in disappointment in August, saying he did not “want to give the illusion that my presence in the government signifies that we are answering these problems properly.”

Now, Macron’s opponents on both the far-left and the far-right have lent their support to the yellow vest movement, making the protests easier to dismiss as a politicized spectacle. Skeptics also highlight a perceived dominance of white men among the yellow vests, and the movement’s leaders refused to meet with France’s prime minister once they learned the meeting would not be filmed and broadcast live.

Although Macron’s approval rating has fallen to record lows, that can also be discounted by the historical trend of the French typically turning against their presidents by this point in the term.

As Macron put it in a Der Spiegel interview last year, “The French want to elect a king, but they would like to be able to overthrow him whenever they want. . . . You have to be prepared to be disparaged, insulted and mocked — that is in the French nature.”

But sociologists and anti-poverty advocates warn some of the frustration underlying the yellow vest protests is real — the ­inevitable result of decades of social fracture between rural France, increasingly devoid of resources, and France’s prosperous large­ cities.

“In these territories marked by the absence of a tomorrow, there’s a form of postindustrial despair that’s now gnawing at the middle and working classes who suffered the brunt of the brutal crisis [of] 2008 and the ensuing budget cuts,” said Niels Planel, a poverty reduction consultant who has done work in the region.

“To give one example, a young student who just finished her bachelor’s told me that she couldn’t stay in her home region because, in her city, ‘there is nothing,’ ” Planel said. “Faced with austerity, city councilors must always do more with less and less, all while facing the growing discontent of their constituents.”

Although France has one of the most extensive railway networks in the world, the map looks somewhat like a wheel: All the spokes originate in midsize provincial cities and converge on Paris at the center. You can get to the capital from Besancon by fast train in about 2½ hours. But much of the surrounding area is relatively unserved by public transport. Without a car, a basic commute would take hours, often along a circuitous route.

“It’s important to understand that this movement of ‘yellow vests’ is not at all an opposition to the environment,” said Benoit Coquard, an expert at the National Institute for Agronomic Research in Dijon, which belongs to the same administrative region as Besancon.

The issue, Coquard said, is a perceived double standard. “What is disputed is that drivers from the middle and lower classes are made to pay, but that in their eyes we don’t ask enough of the big companies and the rich, who also pollute the most because they often take airplanes.”

A common refrain among protesters is fuel prices and other social charges have increased at the same time as Macron’s administration has axed France’s famous wealth tax.

Pavan, the driver, agreed: “France has to be conscious of the environment, yes, but it’s a change everybody has to make — not just working people.”

“Why do the little people have to pay, but the big dogs pay nothing? The people have a feeling of injustice, and I don’t know how this will end.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, CzarnaWisnia said:

In France, the pain behind the ‘yellow vest’ protests is felt mostly outside Paris

“It’s important to understand that this movement of ‘yellow vests’ is not at all an opposition to the environment,” said Benoit Coquard, an expert at the National Institute for Agronomic Research in Dijon, which belongs to the same administrative region as Besancon.

The issue, Coquard said, is a perceived double standard. “What is disputed is that drivers from the middle and lower classes are made to pay, but that in their eyes we don’t ask enough of the big companies and the rich, who also pollute the most because they often take airplanes.”

 A common refrain among protesters is fuel prices and other social charges have increased at the same time as Macron’s administration has axed France’s famous wealth tax.

Pavan, the driver, agreed: “France has to be conscious of the environment, yes, but it’s a change everybody has to make — not just working people.”

“Why do the little people have to pay, but the big dogs pay nothing? The people have a feeling of injustice, and I don’t know how this will end.”

Would love to hear from our members from France on this.  I have never liked Macron - never trust bankers who tend to always favour the wealthy and corporate world.  I do applaud his stance on climate change,  but from what I am reading, he is punishing the working and middle classes the most with taxes while scrapping taxes for the wealthy.  Thought this quote above from  CzarniaWisnia's post says it all really. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don´t know what is happening. The newspapers here say that the violence is coming from groups that are not related to the yellow vest people that were complaining about the taxes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, CzarnaWisnia said:

“They see Emmanuel Macron as part of an elitist coterie that neither understands nor cares how they live, ”

They see it now, do they... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, promise to try said:

I don´t know what is happening. The newspapers here say that the violence is coming from groups that are not related to the yellow vest people that were complaining about the taxes

That's what they always say. 

Truth is that Macron was presented as the Messiah there and it's a useless neo con.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, karbatal said:

That's what they always say. 

 

That's not really true though, as per usual there are 'hooligan'-esque groups from both sides of the spectrum that infiltrate
manisfestations, both leftist anarchists and the far right, it's kinda funny that they are wearing the same 'color'. There's a lot of footage
of them fighting amongst themselves, police officers being singled out, getting beat up while being helped 2 escape at the same time, all by people in Yellow Vests. The situation is a mess.

And yes, Macron is awful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People's anger has been increasing for years and all that was missing was a few people taking a stance publicly to start the fire. Even more than fuel prices, the most scandalous thing with all of this is the hypocrisy with climate change and actions that governments supposedly take to fight against it. It's just a matter of taxes but with no solution offered at the end, so people have to pay when they can't do otherwise. They feel trapped. Yet they don't ask big companies to change their model or invest in alternatives. This has been going on for years.

Now the chaos has spread in Paris and other cities, and they want to come back next Saturday. The same thing will happen unless something is done, but what can the big chiefs do... They don't want to remove any taxes and they claim to have already done something for the poor and low wages. Both sides won't listen to each other because this has been going on for years in politics. I believe it's not only Macron but also previous presidents who have done nothing, and he pays the price for it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It continues this morning. Also, hundreds of schools are closed today in solidarity, and in protest of the government's education reform.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, karbatal said:

That's what they always say. 

Truth is that Macron was presented as the Messiah there and it's a useless neo con.

Exactly.

The farse of Macron didn't last long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone cares, here is an alternative point of view of the double standards of what is happening in Paris.

 

Revolution in Ukraine? Yes, please! Revolution in France? Rule of law!

When violent protests shook Kiev in 2013, Western analysts and leaders quickly threw their support behind the anti-government ‘revolution’ — but after weeks of Yellow Vest protests in France, the reaction has been very different.

While Western governments and commentators denounced the Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovych and urged that he give in to protesters’ demands five years ago, this time around, they are denouncing the French protesters and urging President Emmanuel Macron, whose popularity stands at about 25 percent, to stand firm against dissatisfied citizens.

Western media coverage has also differed drastically with reports describing French protesters as rioters, while Ukrainian protesters were described as revolutionaries. The contrasting reaction has prompted many to ask the question: If a so-called revolution is allowed to happen (and even applauded) in Ukraine, why not in France?

French police have cracked down on the ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters in bloody clashes, during which water cannons and tear gas were deployed to disperse huge crowds, who responded by throwing stones at officers. The extent of the chaos has even caused officials to mull imposing a state of emergency and prompted concerns that protest movement could spread to countries like Germany and the Netherlands. Worried government officials and French and European political commentators have eagerly called for the “rule of law” to be respected and for violent protesters to respect French institutions.

In Kiev, however, when protesters set fire to cars, defaced public property and attacked police officers, they were held up as heroes. Law and order was of little concern to Western media which wholeheartedly supported the Maidan movement. Similarly, when anti-government protests kicked off in Syria in 2011, Western leaders and commentators advocated the swift overthrow of the government and provided moral (and material) support to anti-government rebels during the subsequent civil war which ripped the country apart.

During a visit to Argentina for the G20 Summit last weekend, Macron vowed that he would “not concede anything” to the “thugs” who want “destruction and disorder.” His unwillingness to cave in the face of a mass protest movement, however, has not prompted any calls for him to step down and respect the will of the people, as happened in Ukraine and Syria.

On Twitter, well-known French political commentator and media personality Bernard-Henri Lévy, lashed out at the Yellow Vest protesters, accusing them of “playing with fire” and saying that all that matters is respect for French institutions and the democratically-election president.

Lévy’s followers, however, were quick to remind him that his reaction to protests in Ukraine were quite different. Lévy, who was in Ukraine during the Euromaidan movement, actively promoted it, giving speeches and tweeting enthusiastically about the protests. When Yanukovych was overthrown, he described it as a “a historical defeat against tyranny.” As the protests raged on for the third week, other Twitter users sarcastically mocked the patronizing Western reaction to anti-government movements in other regions, with one suggesting that perhaps hundreds of Arab experts could get together at fancy conferences to attempt to decipher the causes of this fascinating ‘European Winter’ movement.

Another said it was about time that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on Macron to exercise “restraint” and ensure that the “freedom of expression and demonstration” are respected in France.

Sarcasm aside, it looks very much like violent revolutions and regime change are only a good enough solution to crises in countries far away from the centres of Western power and influence and led by uncooperative governments. When the rumblings of revolution are felt in Paris, where Macron remains committed to upholding a neoliberal, West-centric world order, it's a different story entirely.

 

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/445475-france-protests-hypocrisy-media/

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to hand it out to the French ,when they fight they mean business!! Bravo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Nessie said:

Exactly.

The farse of Macron didn't last long.

And what exactly is the alternative? Marine Le Penn - a neofascist, sponsored by Putin, intent on Fraexit and dismantling EU?????? Wake up. Macron was, is and will be the best choice for France and for the EU.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jupiter caved in. Macron suspends the new tax.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, elijah said:

And what exactly is the alternative? Marine Le Penn - a neofascist, sponsored by Putin, intent on Fraexit and dismantling EU?????? Wake up. Macron was, is and will be the best choice for France and for the EU.

He was not. The fact that the rest of the political parties are in shambles doesn't mean we have to believe in these cute mannequins pretending to be hip, trendy and social-centre-abit leftist-worker supporter-interpreour and everything in between.

It was more than clear that Macron was all smoke and mirrors since the beginning. We have in Spain our own Macron who sadly is rising and rising too. But he's a neo-con defender of the elites. He's rising in popularity since the mess in Catalonia started, he's the leader of Ciudadanos. Albert Rivera

Related image

 

And then the People Party, after Rajoy left, put another mannequin trying to convince us that he's very young and very trendy too. Pablo Casado.

Image result for pablo casado vanity fair

It is not new. Our first minister now was the first void mannequin pretending he was some kind of alternative when in fact he's as useless as a log. 

Image result for pedro sanchez vanity fair

 

This televised democracy with mannequins for politicians and a message that tries to make everybody happy but gives zero solutions has to stop. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't condone violence, chaos and extremism but i love how french people don't just lure behind a keyboard and complain,  but still go out and protest to make their voice heard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

macron1.jpeg?fit=800,600&ssl=1

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1becee69b66f2a3d2e869b1c9d3344d8.jpg

b8f6c3e3f8fd8bdea371005877940c5e.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, karbatal said:

And then the People Party, after Rajoy left, put another mannequin trying to convince us that he's very young and very trendy too. Pablo Casado.

Image result for pablo casado vanity fair

One of the all time worst.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Memes-Redes_sociales-Humor-La_Jungla_299

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, horn said:

1becee69b66f2a3d2e869b1c9d3344d8.jpg

b8f6c3e3f8fd8bdea371005877940c5e.jpg

 

Disgusting creature with hair implants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bad people, really bad peole. ALthough macron with the black guys...mmmmmm😍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this is FRANCE and these are STUDENTS!!!!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, elijah said:

:|:yowza:

I'm SHOCKED! 

This was in my FAcebook timeline and I thought it was some video from a guerilla from some forsaken country! If Macron thinks this will help calm the country down, then he's more delusional than I thought! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, elijah said:

I'm SHOCKED! 

This was in my FAcebook timeline and I thought it was some video from a guerilla from some forsaken country! If Macron thinks this will help calm the country down, then he's more delusional than I thought! 

These students got arrested after they burnt cars, assaulted people and destroyed pretty much anything they could find on the street. NOT feeling sorry for them, at some point it has to stop. These retards think that because they're in democracy, they have the right to do whatever they want. The movement got out of control and tomorrow is expected to be even more chaotic. The most extreme of them want to break into the Presidential residency and get Macron's head, that's how sick they are in the head. 😐

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, luckystar90 said:

These students got arrested after they burnt cars, assaulted people and destroyed pretty much anything they could find on the street. NOT feeling sorry for them, at some point it has to stop. These retards think that because they're in democracy, they have the right to do whatever they want. The movement got out of control and tomorrow is expected to be even more chaotic. The most extreme of them want to break into the Presidential residency and get Macron's head, that's how sick they are in the head. 😐

You don't put dozens of KIDS from the same high school against the wall handcuffed. Full stop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are the french so angry for no reason ? I don't think so .When you're attacking the median and lower class with your policies every day the result will be violence .And these images of war just mean one thing: Things have got to change

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, sotos8 said:

Are the french so angry for no reason ? I don't think so .When you're attacking the median and lower class with your policies every day the result will be violence .And these images of war just mean one thing: Things have got to change

Sadly things are changing for the worst. All anger is fuelling far right movements. Look at Trump and the rest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×