The Yellow Vests of France: Six Months of Struggle

the-yellow-vests-of-france:-six-months-of-struggle

21-05-19 09:28:00,

I am writing you from Montpellier, France, where I am a participant-observer in the Yellow Vest movement, which is still going strong after six months, despite a dearth of information in the international media.

But why should you take the time to learn more about the Yellow Vests?  The answer is that France has for more than two centuries been the classic model for social innovation, and this unique, original social movement has enormous international significance. The Yellow Vests have already succeeded in shattering the capitalist myth of “representative democracy” in the age of neo-liberalism. Their uprising has unmasked the lies and violence of republican government, as well as the duplicity of representative institutions like political parties, bureaucratic unions and the mainstream media.

Moreover, the Yellow Vests represent the first time in history that a spontaneous, self-organized social movement has ever held out for half a year in spite of repression while retaining its autonomy, resisting cooptation, bureaucratization and sectarian splits. All the while, standing up to full-scale government repression and targeted propaganda, it poses a real, human alternative to the dehumanization of society under the rule of the capitalist “market.”

Six months ago on Nov. 17, 2018, Yellow Vests burst literally “out of nowhere,” with autonomous local units springing up all over France like mushrooms, demonstrating on traffic circles (roundabouts) and toll-gates, marching every Saturday in cities, including Paris. But unlike all previous revolts, it was not Paris-centered. The humid November soil from which these mushrooms sprouted was the near-universal frustration of French people at the abject failure of the CGT and other unions to effectively oppose Macron’s steam-roller imposition last Spring of his historic Thatcherite “reforms”: an inflexible neo-liberal program of cutting benefits, workplace rights, and privatizing or cutting public services, while eliminating the so-called Wealth Tax designed to benefit the poor.

The immediate cause of this spontaneous mass rising was to protest an unfair tax on fuel  (fiscal justice) but the Yellow Vests’ demands quickly expanded to include restoration of public services (transport, hospitals, schools); higher wages, retirement benefits, healthcare for the poor, peasant agriculture, media free of billionaire and government control, and, most remarkably, participatory democracy. Despite their disruptive tactics, the Yellow Vests were from the beginning wildly popular with average French people (73% approval),

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Yellow Vest movement marks 6-month anniversary with marches, scuffles with police break out (VIDEOS)

yellow-vest-movement-marks-6-month-anniversary-with-marches,-scuffles-with-police-break-out-(videos)

19-05-19 06:37:00,

Scuffles between police and protesters broke out in France’s Reims as the Yellow Vest movement rallied on its 27th weekend in a row. The six-month anniversary demonstrations were peaceful in Paris and other cities.

Some 15,500 demonstrators have rallied across France, according to figures from the Interior Ministry. While the organizers claim the figure is just over 40,000 participants, it’s still no match to the numbers the movement attracted when it started in November last year.

In Reims, multiple scuffles between law enforcement and demonstrators were registered. A heavy presence of the so-called ‘black bloc’ – far-left protesters, covering their faces and sporting similar black attires to make identification harder – might have contributed to the violence on the city’s streets.

Rowdy protesters have set various objects on fire, and some also tried to erect barricades across the streets.

They also vandalized the local office for the France Bleu radio station, as well as other buildings.

Authorities say 1,600 people went out in the streets of Paris, although Occurrence, an independent research firm that has been following Yellow Vest rallies from the very beginning, put the number at 5,600. The Paris march was largely peaceful – and observed by a large police force – yet some minor scuffles were observed.

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A French cop on why French cops will never join the Yellow Vests | The Vineyard of the Saker

a-french-cop-on-why-french-cops-will-never-join-the-yellow-vests-|-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

16-05-19 03:22:00,

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

Ever since the start of the Yellow Vest movement – which has been violently repressed for an entire half-year – many people have hoped that French police would put flowers in their rubber bullet guns and join the side of the righteous.

To me… such a hope is not based on reality. It is certainly not based on history.

But French thinkers like Alain Soral, whom we could call the primary intellectual godfather of the Yellow Vest movement, said from the very beginning (40 minute mark) that if the state, “… sends the forces of order against the people, against the Yellow Vests… they will join the Yellow Vests because, fundamentally, they are the same people and they have the same interests. And the day that happens I will be there, I will do my job – with all the risks that entails – and I have been preparing myself for it since around 1985. All my life has been turned towards this.”

Soral had the courage to stand up for the Yellow Vests when he said that on November 30,2018, but six months later he has been disappointed and disproven. The forces of order have been sent against the Yellow Vests 26 consecutive Saturdays and the cops have never come close to joining the Yellow Vests.

Soral is still waiting, and he will always wait. In March I laid out why the Yellow Vests are “Proving police are part of the 1%”: ironclad job security, early retirement, guaranteed pensions, chances for overtime pay, elevated social status, Mainstream Media worship, etc. The working class has none of those things. Therefore, claims that cops are “working class”, made by Soral at that same point in the video, are absurd. No matter the circumstances of your birth: join the police force and you are no longer “working class”. This reality of cops being part of the working class is just as clear in the neo-imperialist West as it is in developing countries, and I will discuss later how France’s 1% has specifically arranged it that way.

Yet many in the Yellow Vests who are risking life and limb every Saturday still persist in thinking that cops will switch sides en masse.

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The Yellow Vest Salpêtrière Hospital hoax: I reported live from there as it happened | The Vineyard of the Saker

the-yellow-vest-salpetriere-hospital-hoax:-i-reported-live-from-there-as-it-happened-|-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

06-05-19 12:23:00,

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

The French government has been forced to shamefully admit that they made totally false accusations that May Day Yellow Vest anti-government protesters tried to break into the Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital in order to “attack”, “assault” and “steal”. Countless mainstream media are just as covered in ignominy for having repeated these untrue claims.

I was right there when it happened, covering it for PressTV, so I witnessed exactly what transpired.

In fact, I even gave a live interview at the exact time of the incident, just after 4pm. I don’t have a copy of that for now, but I hope to get one soon: certainly, I can explain what happened and why.

Why it happened: A new rule permitting even worse police brutality against Yellow Vests

May 1st was the debut of a new policing tactic: cops can initiate violence against peaceful protesters.

It is just that objectively simple, openly discussed, and easy to explain:

Cops are now using the age-old method of “divide and conquer”… on peaceful protesters. On May 1st a line of riot cops repeatedly charged the demonstrators in order to sever them into two, more manageable sections. One section of the protest is forced to advance, while the other section is forced to wait behind.

Of course, police are not watching their elbows and politely saying, “Excuse me” – the only way to stop peaceful demonstrators from moving is to violently get in their way and then violently bar them from advancing one more step. That is “initiating violence”, and they didn’t used to do that with the regularity we saw on May 1.

The cops did this at the start of the demonstration at 2pm, and to achieve their goal of cutting the demo into two sides they gassed about 5-8,000 people. I was doing a live interview at that time as well (I don’t have a copy of that one, but I do have others from that day, read on for the link!). It was so violent and so shocking – tear gas forcing thousands of people to flee – that I had to talk (yell) for 20+ minutes live,

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Yellow Vests mobilize for another weekend of protests, the 25th-in-a-row

yellow-vests-mobilize-for-another-weekend-of-protests,-the-25th-in-a-row

04-05-19 08:54:00,

Three days after clashing with police at May Day demonstrations, Yellow Vests protesters marched in Paris and across France, in the 25th straight weekend of anti-government anger.

According to the Interior Ministry, 18,900 demonstrators took to the streets on Saturday, the lowest turnout since the movement began as a protest against a planned fuel tax hike in November. However, the Yellow Vests have regularly disputed the figures released by the ministry, accusing officials of downplaying the scale of the protests.

In Paris, protesters demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Christophe Castaner. Castaner had accused Yellow Vests protesters of staging an “attack” on a hospital in the city during Wednesday’s May Day protests. Social media footage told a different story, with the protesters seeking refuge in the hospital to avoid police batons and tear gas.

Droves of protesters beat drums and chanted “Liar Castaner.”

Protesters in Toulouse also jeered at Castaner and demanded his resignation. The march in Toulouse quickly became violent, however, and clashes broke out between the Yellow Vests and police. Tear gas was deployed, and riot police at one point violently charged protesters.

Tear gas was also used by police in La Roche-sur-Yon, while protesters in Lyon joined a more peaceful youth march against global warming.

EN DIRECT 🔴 de l’ #ActeXXV pour la convergence sociale et climatique. L’ambiance bat son plein, le cortège vient de partir ! 😍💚
Il n’est pas trop tard pour nous rejoindre !
“Pour que notre planète bleue reste verte, il faut y ajouter du jaune” ! 💚💛 pic.twitter.com/s7jwazNYBJ

— Youth for Climate Lyon (@YouthfClimateLY) May 4, 2019

Although turnout on the streets was lower than on previous weekends, many Yellow Vests have not been pacified by President Macron’s promise of tax breaks, with one dismissing the president’s offering as “rubbish” last week.

In the wake of Castaner’s hospital “attack” claim, 1,400 French artists, celebrities and creatives –including movie stars Juliette Binoche and Emmanuelle Beart– signed an open letter of support for the Yellow Vests, printed in left-wing newspaper Libération on Saturday. In it, they slammed the French government and media for attempting to “discredit” the “citizens’ movement.”

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Maimed Yellow Vest Protestors: Worse Than Getting Shot

maimed-yellow-vest-protestors:-worse-than-getting-shot

03-05-19 08:58:00,

Authored by Tim Kirby via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The French marched off to war in 1914 in glorious lines of infantry in baby blue coats and bright red trousers to be mowed down by the finest technology the Industrial Revolution had to offer. For us now it is easy to see how insane this was and how flawed the understanding of both the commoners and even the experts was in terms of how combat and war actually worked at the time. This naive view of modern tactics certainly applies to street conflicts we are seeing in France as part of the Yellow Vest protests. The so-called non-lethal (and less-lethal) arms of the French authorities gives them a tactical advantage far beyond that of any assault rifle.

Thanks to the media we have become accustomed to video of protestors getting sprayed by water or having their ranks dispersed thanks to tear gas, leaving everyone wet or coughing respectively but otherwise unharmed. However this humane picture does not meet up with the realities of this civilian vs. cop style warfare.

If we are to take the Yellow Vest protestors at their word then at least 22 of them have lost an eye (from “less-lethal” Flash-ball guns) and 5 have had their hands blown off with 154 being “seriously injured”. Obviously the protestors will want to maximize their statistics but there are plenty of videos from the various actions/demonstrations showing horrible injuries which are too numerous to all be fakes. So the numbers may be off but the overall general tendencies of these injuries do occur from the French authorities in the Human Rights defending EU is a proven fact. The simple reality is that despite a nice marketing phrase non-lethal weapons cripple and on occasion kill.

In order to understand the tactical advantage that non-lethal weapons offer the government (not the individual police but the state itself) we need to put aside our emotional response to seeing French people having their limbs blown off. We have to not jump into ranting about the flagrant hypocrisy of the EU when it comes to human rights and rationally break down how the conflicts between Yellow and Blue vests could look if the arms situation were different.

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Yellow Vests Take Bus To London To Protest Assange Extradition Hearing

yellow-vests-take-bus-to-london-to-protest-assange-extradition-hearing

02-05-19 05:32:00,

French protesters, many donning yellow vests, took a bus across the English Channel to protest outside of Julian Assange’s Thursday extradition hearing in London, according to Bloomberg

Arriving just one day after chaotic May Day clashes with Paris police, the protesters highlighted the growing movement of activists who voicing concern as UK courts gear up to consider a US extradition request for the WikiLeaks founder. 

“We came here to show support because Assange represents

part of the information revolution,” said 39-year-old French protester Alice Eff, who said she arrived on an 80-seat bus with other Assange supporters. 

WikiLeaks’ release of hundreds of thousands of classified

cables, and war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq had struck a

chord with the movement, she said outside Westminster

Magistrates Court, though there was no formal connection with

the WikiLeaks organization.

American authorities are pursuing extradition so Assange

can face trial on accusations that he conspired with ex-Army

analyst Chelsea Manning to illegally download classified

government material. Eff said she was concerned that the

existing U.S. charge against Assange could be further broadened. –Bloomberg

There is also a support truck going round the block and driving past the court #Assange #JulianAssange pic.twitter.com/rRuuvo1jIw

— Bruce Thain (@TheBruceThain) May 2, 2019

“We are protesting in France in order to have more democracy and to have more transparency from the government. And that’s what Julian Assange has been fighting for,” one yellow vest protester named Vincent told Sputnik News. “So for us it was obvious to come here and to support him to, just tell him that he is not alone, that there are like hundred thousands of people in France at least and I guess all [over] the world, probably millions, that consider him as a hero for doing what he has done, to sacrifice his own life and his own freedom in order to put out in the public confidential information that… yeah, release critical information that is important for the public to know.” 

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Yellow Vests mutilated by ‘sublethal’ police weapons form their own association, plan anti-brutality

yellow-vests-mutilated-by-8216sublethal8217-police-weapons-form-their-own-association-plan-anti-brutality

29-04-19 03:49:00,

Yellow Vest protesters who have suffered life-changing injuries at the hands of French police have launched their own association, promising fresh actions against police brutality.

Called “the mutilated for the edification of others,” the collective aims to accurately calculate the number of people who have been injured nationally by police during Yellow Vest protests. It also called for an end to the use of the non-lethal weapons deployed by French police — namely tear gas canisters and Flash Balls — and a large national demonstration is scheduled in Paris on May 26.

Among those attending was Jerome Rodrigues, a prominent Yellow Vest leader who was hit in the eye with a gas canister during a demonstration in January. “You have 19 people in front of you and you have only 26 eyes that look back,” he told the press conference. “Count, there is a small problem,” he added.

“We demand the truth, justice and the ban on so-called sublethal weapons,” said Robin Pages, another activist. He accused French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner of “lying” when the he suggested that only “10 people have been hit in the head by LBD [Flash Ball] shots.”

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According to statistics gathered by the activist group Desarmons-les (“Disarm Them”), at least 154 people have been seriously injured by police use of non-lethal weapons during protests. Of that number, 22 people have lost the use of an eye due to Flash Balls. A further five have had their hands torn off by gas canisters.

The growing list of casualties has done little to prevent police use of non-lethal weapons, who fired gas at hundreds of protesters in order to prevent them from gathering at the EU Parliament building in Strasbourg on Saturday.

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Tear gas & batons near EU Parliament as Strasbourg police struggle to hold off marching Yellow Vests

Now in entering its 25th week, the movement has morphed from one protesting a planned fuel tax hike into a wider campaign against austerity and the pro-business policies of the French government. 

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Yellow Vests take to the streets in rejection of Macron’s ‘rubbish’ olive branch (PHOTO, VIDEO)

yellow-vests-take-to-the-streets-in-rejection-of-macrons-rubbish-olive-branch-photo-video

27-04-19 08:17:00,

Unrelenting Yellow Vest activists have marched in Paris and other French cities for the 24th straight weekend, just days after Emmanuel Macron tried to placate the protest movement with promises of lower taxes.

The demonstrators who assembled in Paris, Toulouse and Strasbourg on Saturday appear to signal that despite the French president’s recent concessions to the group, the Yellow Vest movement is alive and well.

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Macron tells French to ‘work more’ while offering tax cuts to Yellow Vests

Oh Thursday, Macron held the first major press conference of his two-year presidency, in which he announced that he wanted to implement “significant” income tax cuts. The televised conference, however, was not well received among those who have turned out week after week to demonstrate against Macron’s business-friendly austerity measures.

AFP, after interviewing a dozen Yellow Vests in the south of France about their opinion of the press conference, reported that activists thought Macron’s olive branch was “rubbish.”

Jérémy Clément, regularly cited as a spokesperson for the movement, told the news agency that “the President has understood our claims, but he hasn’t provided the answers to them.”

The Yellow Vest (Gilets Jaunes) protests began last November as a rally against a proposed gas tax. Now an international movement, French Yellow Vest activists have assembled for 24 Saturdays in a row as of this week. Some demonstrations have led to violent clashes with police, resulting in serious injuries.

Macron has already offered €10 billion ($11.1bn) in tax cuts and income subsidies for the working poor and pensioners, back in December, but the pledge did not slow down the burgeoning protest movement.

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Yellow Vests Ignore Macron’s ‘Olive Branch’ As Protests Resume Across France

yellow-vests-ignore-macron8217s-8216olive-branch8217-as-protests-resume-across-france

27-04-19 07:47:00,

Yellow Vest activists completely ignored French President Emmanuel Macron’s ‘olive branch’ of compromises – taking to the streets of Paris and other French cities for the 25th straight weekend of protests, albeit in much smaller numbers than in previous weeks. 

Meanwhile, in France….. pic.twitter.com/zljLcs1Lxm

— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 27, 2019

Tear gas was fired at protesters who attempted to march toward the European Parliament building in the eastern city of Strasbourg.

— LCI (@LCI) April 27, 2019

Around two thousand protesters had gathered near the seat of European Union institutions in Strasbourg, where organizers had planned make the protest international by symbolically marching to the parliament building, a month ahead of EU-wide parliamentary elections. –Reuters

French police clash with #YellowVest protesters in Strasbourg https://t.co/Xl2MjFD6R8 pic.twitter.com/Omveu3zSdD

— ST Foreign Desk (@STForeignDesk) April 27, 2019

In Paris, meanwhile, a joint demonstration with the hard-left trade union confederation CGT was mostly calm. 

— For The People (@FTPmedia1) April 27, 2019

On Thursday, Macron held a major press conference where he vowed to implement “significant” income tax cuts and other measures in an effort to “reboot his presidency” as FT described it. In December, he offered €10 billion ($11.1bn) in subsidies and tax cuts for the working poor and pensioners – which did absolutely nothing to quell the movement. 

And despite offering new tax cuts worth around 5 billion euros ($5.58 billion), Macron’s televised conference didn’t go over well either – with a dozen Yellow Vests interviewed by AFP in the South of France calling it “rubbish.” 

Yellow Vest spokesman Jérémy Clément told AFP that “the President has understood our claims, but he hasn’t provided the answers to them.”

The protests began in November over a climate-change-linked gas tax, however it quickly morphed into a general protest against the French government. 

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Macron Woos Yellow Vests With Tax Cuts, Immigration, And Warning Over Threat Of ‘Political Islam’

macron-woos-yellow-vests-with-tax-cuts-immigration-and-warning-over-threat-of-8216political-islam8217

26-04-19 12:35:00,

French President Emmanuel Macron gave a rare press conference on Thursday, where he promised to cut taxes and institute other economic reforms as he attempts to reboot his presidency (as FT puts it). 

Macron’s speech was wide-ranging, and covered education and the environment – as well as acknowledging the threat of a “political Islam that wants to secede with our Republic.” 

“We are talking about a secession that has sometimes slyly installed because the Republic had deserted or had not kept its promises, we are talking about people who, in the name of a religion pursue a political project, that of a political Islam that wants to secede with our Republic. And there, I asked the government to be intractable.” -Macron (via La Presse)

The French President was originally going to announce the reforms on April 15, but postponed due to the fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral. In short – Macron is trying to calm down the Yellow Vests, which have been protesting for more than five continuous months against high taxes and government mismanagement. For reference, here is what they want: 

Other key quotes from Macron’s Thursday speech via the Straits Times

ON MACRON’S GOVERNMENT REFORMS

“I asked myself: Should we stop everything that was done over the past two years? Did we take a wrong turn? I believe quite the opposite.”

ON FRANCE’S TOWN HALL DEBATES AFTER THE PROTESTS

“We are above all children of the Enlightenment. And it is from these debates, these deliberations, this capacity to contradict one another … that good solutions can emerge for the country.”

ON SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS

“We must maintain public service (in the countryside)… guarantee the access for all to health services and guarantee that no school or hospital will be closed without the mayor’s approval.”

ON REFORMING FRANCE’S CIVIL SERVICE AND ELITE SCHOOLS

“I want to reform our senior public service. This is not a meritocratic system any more… We don’t need job-for-life protection.”

Macron also confirmed he would scrap France’s Ecole Nationale d’Administration,

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Yellow vests return to streets of paris enraged by billions donated to rebuild notre dame | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

yellow-vests-return-to-streets-of-paris-enraged-by-billions-donated-to-rebuild-notre-dame-light-on-conspiracies-8211-revealing-the-agenda

22-04-19 08:59:00,

Julia Conley, Common Dreams
Waking Times

The contrast between the French government’s and upper class’s response to Monday’s fire at Notre Dame and ongoing inaction to combat income inequality, was a primary driver of mass protests in Paris on Saturday.

The Gilets Jaunes, or Yellow Vests, staged their first major protest since large portions of the historic cathedral burned, apparently due to an electrical short-circuit, to call attention to the €1 billion ($1.1 billion) that the country’s richest families have donated to help rebuild the church, months after the yellow vest movement began demonstrating against income inequality.

Yellow vest protesters move out from Bercy in Paris on one of 2 authorised marches. Police very much in evidence on what authorities fear could degenerate badly over the day. #f24 #GiletsJaunes pic.twitter.com/mmbrkxNrLu

— Luke Shrago (@LukeShrago) April 20, 2019

France 24 noted that many members of the Yellow Vest movement—which began in rural areas last fall when many struggling French people demonstrated against high fuel costs and President Emanuel Macron’s generous tax cuts for the rich, and has since gathered support from a number of ideological groups—mourned earlier this week along with the rest of the country as news of the heavily damaged 674-year-old church spread.

“Some of the activists said they cried in front of their TV sets as they watched the Gothic architectural masterpiece being consumed by flames Monday night and some even made small donations for the restoration of the iconic building, despite their struggles to make ends meet,” reported the outlet.

But grief turned to anger for many, Levavasseur said, as the Yellow Vests watched donations pour in and Macron call for the church to be repaired within five years, exacerbating the perception of many that he is a “president for the rich.”

“What happened at Notre-Dame is obviously a deplorable tragedy. But nobody died,” Levavasseur told France 24. “I’ve heard someone speaking of national mourning. Are they out of their minds?”

One sign at Saturday’s demonstration read, “Victor Hugo thanks all the generous donors ready to save Notre Dame and proposes that they do the same thing with Les Miserables,” referring to Hugo’s classic novels about the cathedral and the struggles of impoverished people in France.

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Yellow Vests Rage Again; Spreads To Libya; 137 Arrested

yellow-vests-rage-again-spreads-to-libya-137-arrested

20-04-19 08:35:00,

More clashes broke out on Saturday between Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) protesters and French riot police during the 23rd straight week of protests across France. Police had arrested 137 protesters by 15:40 CEST (3:40 PM local time), according to Euro News.

Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP – Getty Images

Authorities warned that they expected the protests to be more violent following the catastrophic fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday. Some demonstrators took issue with the approximately 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) pledged so far to restore the landmark by some of the country’s wealthiest families, including the owners of luxury groups LVMH and Kering, the Bettencourt family behind the L’Oreal beauty empire, and scores of companies such as BNP, Total, Société Générale and Sanofi, according to Euro News. 

Several demonstrators clearly alluded to the catastrophic fire at Notre-Dame cathedral on Monday, which prompted an outpouring of national sorrow and a rush by rich families and corporations to pledge around 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) for its reconstruction.

“Millions for Notre-Dame, what about for us, the poor?” read a sign worn by a demonstrator. “Everything for Notre-Dame, nothing for the miserables,” read another sign that evoked Victor Hugo’s well-known novel. –Reuters

— EHA News (@eha_news) April 20, 2019

🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷#ActeXXIII #20Avril2019 #20avril #ultimatum2 #ActeXXIII #Acte23🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/mrB8ZQexTa

— Deutsch365 (@deutsch365) April 20, 2019

The police siad that “violent groups have formed in the procession,” and asked that nonviolent Yellow Vests “disassociate yourself from these groups, let law enforcement and emergency services intervene.”

If this footage was from Russia, Syria, or Venezuela, rather than #France today, it would be televised incessantly all across our mainstream media. #YellowVests #GiletsJaunes pic.twitter.com/fZf6MJzi1L

— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) April 20, 2019

Talking to reporters on Friday, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, said that intelligence services expected rioters to take to the streets in several cities including Toulouse,

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1st since Notre Dame fire: Yellow Vests back in action despite ‘unifying’ disaster & they are angry

1st-since-notre-dame-fire-yellow-vests-back-in-action-despite-unifying-disaster-amp-they-are-angry

20-04-19 01:51:00,

Yellow Vests protests brought clashes and tear gas back to the streets of Paris, despite politicians’ calls for “unity” in the wake of the Notre Dame fire. For protesters, the response to the fire only showed more inequality.

Saturday’s protests mark the 23rd straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations, but the first since Notre Dame de Paris went up in flames on Monday. Officials were quick to criticize the protesters for returning to the streets so soon after the disaster.

“The rioters will be back tomorrow,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on Friday. “The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame.”

For many of the protesters, grief over the destruction of the 800-year-old landmark has made way for anger. With smoke still rising from Notre Dame, a group of French tycoons and businessmen pledged €1 billion to the cathedral’s reconstruction, money that the Yellow Vests say could be better spent elsewhere.

“If they can give dozens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, they should stop telling us there is no money to respond to the social emergency,” trade union leader Philippe Martinez told France 24.

Saturday’s protests saw a return to scenes familiar since the Yellow Vests first mobilized in November to protest a fuel tax hike. Demonstrators in Paris’ Bastille district set barricades on fire and smashed vehicles, and police deployed tear gas to keep the crowds at bay.

Sporadic incidents of vandalism and looting were reported across the city, and some journalists even reported rioters throwing feces at police.

60,000 police officers were deployed across the country, and in Paris, a security perimeter was set up around Notre Dame. A planned march that would have passed the site was banned by police, and elsewhere, 137 protesters had been arrested by mid afternoon, police sources told Euronews.

Beginning as a show of anger against rising fuel costs in November, the Yellow Vests movement quickly evolved into a national demonstration of rage against falling living standards, income inequality, and the perceived elitism and pro-corporation policies of President Emmanuel Macron. Over 23 weeks of unrest, Macron has made several concessions to the protesters’ demands, but has thus far been unable to quell the rising dissent.

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Cop union says Yellow Vests undercounted massively | The Vineyard of the Saker

cop-union-says-yellow-vests-undercounted-massively-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

16-04-19 09:29:00,

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Yellow Vest Act 22: Clashes in Toulouse, Vikings in Paris

yellow-vest-act-22-clashes-in-toulouse-vikings-in-paris

13-04-19 03:59:00,

Sporadic clashes with police marred Yellow Vests protests in Toulouse, the city chosen as the ‘capital’ of this week’s anti-government marches in France. Act 22 is the first since a controversial anti-rioting law took effect.

Several thousand protesters took part in the demonstration in Toulouse on Saturday, marking the 22nd consecutive week of the “gilets jaunes” movement. Smaller rallies involving hundreds of people happened in capital Paris, and other French cities.

Unlike some earlier protest gatherings, no major rioting has occurred so far this weekend. The police in Toulouse was filmed deploying tear gas and some clashes were reported.

But otherwise, the protest seems peaceful…

…and more jovial than full of rage

Some participants used the occasion to show support to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was arrested on Thursday in London.

This week a new controversial anti-rioting law came into force in France after the country’s Constitutional Council partially censured it. Some of its provisions, including one that bans covering one’s face during a mass gathering, was criticized by human rights organizations. Some of the protesters on Saturday apparently ignored it by wearing gas masks and other gear.

The protest movement is meant to keep pressure on the French government despite it officially declaring on Monday an end to a three-month period of public debate on its economic policies. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the government needs to digest some two million online contributions and 10,000 hours of town hall meetings before formulating a path forward.

The continued protests were ignited by a hike in fuel taxes last November, which prompted the protesters to adopt the now-iconic motorist visibility vest as their symbol. It soon escalated into a massive movement against President Emmanuel Macron’s business-friendly austerity policies.

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Yellow Vests get 1st game-changing win: A vote to stop denationalisation of airports | The Vineyard of the Saker

yellow-vests-get-1st-game-changing-win-a-vote-to-stop-denationalisation-of-airports-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

12-04-19 06:47:00,

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

You never read the word “denationalisation” in Western media anymore, only “privatisation”.

That makes sense… “denationalisation” is so obviously negative; it’s lack of patriotism and concern for the public welfare isn’t being covered up.

The New York Times seemed to stop using the word around the mid-1980s – which makes sense, because that’s when the propaganda of neoliberalism fully took hold. In 2019, a generation later, journalists don’t even question that “privatisation” is a bad thing: for them “nationalisation” is probably a pejorative term, smacking of “nationalism”, which has become essentially synonymous with “racism” in the Western vocabulary.

But “denationalisation” is totally accurate: the selling off businesses which were undoubtedly paid for by the People of the nation, and then operated for the good of the nation.

We cannot say that all neoliberals hate their nation – being “anti-nation” is the ideology of globalists, a subset of neoliberalism. We can say that neoliberals hate “the state”, and the distinction is important.

Listen to the talk radio in the United States and you invariably find Protestant religious radio, and they love to equate “the Beast” of the Bible with the federal government; this satisfies both neoliberal and libertarian listeners. This explains why neoliberals push “privatisation”. When they discover that the 1% to whom the denationalisation was made was to foreign 1%ers… they might get upset at that – they won’t if they are globalisation neoliberals.

Accurate political-economic terminology aside, the Yellow Vests can now tell everyone, “Ta gueule!” (shut your face)

They undoubtedly won their first real victory against Emmanuel Macron this week, as opposition parliamentarians surprisingly banded together to vote in favor of holding a referendum on the sell-off of all three airports in the Paris area. Swiss-style RICs – citizens’ initiative referendums – is the primary democratic-structural demand of the Vesters; the fact that one might now take place is undoubtedly due to their agitation.

A begrudging French media, which hates the Yellow Vests for daring to question the agenda leadership of the 4th estate, of course did not celebrate what is an obvious victory for everyone living on French soil or just flying through Paris.

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Yellow Vests: Realisation | The Vineyard of the Saker

yellow-vests-realisation-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

11-04-19 06:09:00,

It is preposterous to believe that a system which destroys nationhood, statehood and the natural right to have a decent living in exchange of dignified work can be maintained by sheer power of the few and their political puppets.

The economics of neoliberalism is a Ponzi scheme which ends in massive unpayable debt and civil or international wars.

We are at the very end of this infamous chapter of history and people are becoming inmune to the massive and poisonous propaganda from the hegemonic media, their lies and their criminal manipulations.

I am 69 and I have seen a lot, but when I see the gilets jaunes on the streets every Saturday, I feel young because there is hope for humanity.

In a nondistant future our corrupted politicians, instead of having a short ski holiday in the Alps, will be rewarded with a very very long vacation to count trees in Siberia.

El pueblo unido, jamás sera vencido.

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Report: Yellow Vests Act 20 (warning: media heavy – will load slowly!) | The Vineyard of the Saker

report-yellow-vests-act-20-warning-media-heavy-will-load-slowly-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

01-04-19 04:10:00,

by Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:IMG_20190330_191614 (1).jpg

Act 20 of the Yellow Vests took place on March 30th nationwide in France and happened against the background of last week’s brutal beating of a female protestor in Nice. My reports on Acts 18 and 19 can be read here and here respectively.

Paris

The demonstration in Paris was focused on housing expulsions, energy cuts, and expensive accommodation. It should be noted that by law in France people cannot be thrown out of their homes before April 1st, since the weather is still cold until Spring arrives. Here is a photo of the brochure I received at the prior protest in Paris on the 23rd advertising Act 20.

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:IMG_20190330_230847.jpg

There were 2 protest events that took place in parallel, and then eventually merged together: a sanctioned march from Châtelet, and an unsanctioned one from Bastille. When both columns met up there was an almighty cheer, and then everyone marched through the streets up to Trocadéro as a part of the sanctioned march.

But along the way the police cut off the route on the fly, meaning the Yellow Vests had to invent a different way of reaching the end point of the sanctioned march.

Eventually some tempers started to fray and bottles and rocks started to be thrown at the police who accompanied the column. But since it was a sanctioned march the Yellow Vests had to restrain themselves (otherwise the police prefecture will not sign off an application for such a march).

At Trocadéro there were some clashes between Yellow Vests and the police, mainly in the format of glass bottle throwing being answered with flash bangs and tear gas.

But unfortunately the police had already encircled the square and did their usual

“squeezing”

procedure, which resulted in the Yellow Vests (and I) being forced to leave the area via the metro. Most of the shouting that can be heard in my videos comes from protesting Ghanaians, who were already at Trocadéro before the Yellow Vests came.

What happened next was very interesting,

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Yellow Vests flood streets of France for 20th weekend in a row (WATCH LIVE)

yellow-vests-flood-streets-of-france-for-20th-weekend-in-a-row-watch-live

30-03-19 04:53:00,

Thousands of protesters are rallying across France as Yellow Vest demonstrations show no sign of abating on their 20th week despite authorities banning many locations. A heavy police presence can be seen throughout the country.

In Paris, protesters gathered in two locations, forming a joint column. The Yellow Vests are now marching towards Trocadéro square.

The march has been largely incident free so far, yet a thick plume of smoke was observed a couple of times near the demonstrators. It was not immediately clear, however, if it was tear gas or not. 

At least 32 people have been detained in Paris, according to official figures from the city’s police.

Minor clashes between riot police and the Yellow Vests occurred in the city of Avignon, where protesters were allowed to demonstrate only in one location. Following the brief scuffles, the protest continued peacefully.

In Bordeaux, a group of vandals attacked a bank, smashing its windows with iron bars while thousands marched peacefully through the streets of the city.

The situation in Bordeaux remains tense, with police firing tear gas at protesters in volleys.

The protesters are also seeking to show solidarity with Genevieve Legay, a 73-year-old anti-globalization activist, injured in Nice last weekend. “We are all Genevieve!” an online appeal for the protests reads.

Legay was one of those who braved a blanket ban on protests in Nice and got pushed down by a police officer, receiving a head injury, according to the city’s prosecutor.

While the injury caused outrage by itself, French President Emmanuel Macron managed to add insult to it when earlier this week he squarely blamed Legay for the incident.

“When one is fragile and risks being shoved, one does not go to places that are declared off-limits and one does not put oneself in that kind of situation,” Macron said, wishing “speedy recovery … and perhaps a kind of wisdom.”

The remark drew anger from the activist’s family and fellow protesters, who accused Macron of being patronizing and disrespectful, as well as of whitewashing police violence.

Also on rt.com
Macron divides Yellow Vest protesters into goodies &

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Yellow Vests: “A Torrent of Hope Cannot Be Stopped by Police Blocks” | The Vineyard of the Saker

yellow-vests-a-torrent-of-hope-cannot-be-stopped-by-police-blocks-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

26-03-19 08:47:00,

by Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:gilets_jaunes_vrai_debat.jpg

The following text was written (and translated by me) by the “Cerveaux non disponibles” Yellow Vests group after March 23rd’s protest event, which I reported about here. Of course, in many respects there is a chess game ongoing here. Macron thought that by sealing off the Champs-Elysees he would prevent the Yellow Vests from repeating what they did on March 16th – firing a proverbial, and in many respects literal, missile up his ass. But in reality, by doing this he drove himself into a corner, since now the Yellow Vests (and their partisan allies) will try to reclaim it, either by force or by outmanoeuvring the regime with asymmetrical actions. The next 3 weeks are critical – on the 30th there will be a demonstration against home evictions in Paris, which I will attend, on the following Saturday it is planned to gather in Toulouse, on the 13th of April it is planned to all gather in Bordeaux, and on April 20th the next Yellow Vests barrage of artillery is planned for Paris. Unless Macron has a lobotomy and starts implementing fully-fledged “democracy” before this day, we can only brace ourselves. I know that the “Black Blocks” are preparing a new strategy against “Manu” as I type.

In the meantime, the prices and tariffs in France are augmenting all in unison, and the Benalla affair continues without an end in sight. I am hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

“Once again, the Yellow Vests thwarted the government’s plans to stop the movement. Neither the call to the army nor the prohibitions to protest or the increase in fines could stop the mobilisation. Nor could the demonization campaign following the degradation of March 16th.

Castaner cries out victory, believing that the new apparatus has (finally) allowed protesters to express themselves without causing violence. But the reality is different.

Already, the first victory of the Yellow Vests is to have managed to block the most beautiful avenue in the world without even having set foot on it. Several hundred forces mobilised, shops were closed and totally barricaded (see Fouquet’s in steel). All of this without having to go to the Champs Elysees.

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Yellow Vests Act 19 (Paris): Report | The Vineyard of the Saker

yellow-vests-act-19-paris-report-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

25-03-19 10:48:00,

by Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog

March 23rd in France marked the 19th consecutive weekend of nationwide Yellow Vests protests, the most noteworthy of which happened in Nice, Lille, Montpellier, Toulouse, Caen, and Paris. An estimated 127,000 Yellow Vests took to the streets of France on this day to protest against the Macron regime.

Firstly, let’s state some facts: there was NOT military troops everywhere in Paris. Near the Champs-Elysees – yes, but nowhere else. And secondly, people were indeed fined €135 if they tried to protest on the Champs-Elysees, despite the assurances from some media outlets that the fine would be only €11. Below is a copy of a penalty issued to a Yellow Vest as proof.

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:55604089_10216348590845434_8587649033743368192_n.jpg

I personally did not go to the Champs-Elysees, but plenty of footage filmed by others exists. Here is an example of a Yellow Vest going there without wearing a Yellow Vest (incognito). The footage is rather surreal, considering what happened on this Avenue just 1 week prior.

In Nice there was a casualty: after the police violently charged protestors, a 75-year-old lady was slammed to the pavement head first.

Geneviève Legay #GiletsJaunes porte-parole d’Attac 06 grièvement blessée en tombant lors d’une charge policière, ce matin à #Nice pour l’#ActeXIX #Acte19

Visible avec son #GJ non violente, scandant “Liberté de manifester”

Bon rétablissement Madamepic.twitter.com/U28rbqRfqG

— BleuBlancRouge4369 (@BBR4369) March 23, 2019

CHOQUANT! #GiletsJaunes à #Nice #ActeXIX : La police interpelle les MEDICS et les empêche de venir au secours d’une dame gravement blessé!

-“Vous avez un équipement on interpelle, dslé on interpelle”

Dénoncez svp #France #Macron #YellowVests #Macron #Paris pic.twitter.com/CeHWVhgOYp

— Le Général (@leGneral2) March 23, 2019

According to her daughter, cited by AFP, she suffered from several fractures of the skull and petrosal bone (inner ear). “She has to stay another 48 hours under surveillance. She is conscious, under morphine infusion,

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Yellow Vest Movement Not Yet Changing Its Color to Green

yellow-vest-movement-not-yet-changing-its-color-to-green

22-03-19 01:56:00,

Yellow Vest Movement Not Yet Changing Its Color to Green

Léa BOUCHOUCHA

Some had hoped the two marches in Paris last Saturday— one focused on global warming and the other representing the 18th straight weekend of Yellow Vest protests  — would join forces and help unite environmental activism with social equity. 

On March 8, Cyril Dion, a well-known documentary film maker and environmental writer, gave a joint interview to Le Parisien with Priscillia Ludosky, considered one of the founders of the Yellow Vest movement, in which they  both encouraged protesters to march together.

To an extent that happened. Yellow vests were a common sight in the climate demonstrations on Saturday. And nongovernmental groups — Greenpeace France, the Nicolas Hulot Foundation, SOS Racisme, Friends of the Earth, 350.org and Alternatiba — voiced a fusion of environmental and economic demands. “Time to change industrial, political and economic systems, to protect the environment, society and individuals,” was a typical message expressed on one banner.

The climate march included a “Revolutionary Grandmother” at left. (Lea Bouchoucha)

The contrasts between the two demonstrations, however, wound up drawing the main press attention. Coverage by outlets such as Reuters and the Associated Press emphasized how the march on climate change — which drew around 45,000 in Paris, according to media estimates — was peaceful and included movie stars. The smaller Yellow Vest demonstration in the capital, estimated at around 10,000, was marked by rioting and vandalism.

Some Yellow Vests disagree with violence in demonstrations. But plenty of images have spread on social media that show a few protesters posing proudly in front of vandalized, expensive restaurants and luxury shops along the Champs-Elysées Avenue.

A strong majority of French — 84 percent of those polled — condemned the violence in a survey released March 20 by Elabe, an independent consultancy.

‘Part of the Game’

Stephanie Albinet, who wore a yellow vest to Saturday’s climate demonstration, would have been in the minority of that polling group. She was sanguine about the looting and police confrontations she’d personally witnessed at another point that day along Champs-Elysées. “That’s part of the game I would say. At some point we should stop treating the people like fools.”

Consortium News asked Albinet about another criticism of Yellow Vests: that they are too tolerant of xenophobia and bigotry.

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France To Ban Yellow Vest Protests In Neighborhoods With “Ultra” Radicals

france-to-ban-yellow-vest-protests-in-neighborhoods-with-8220ultra8221-radicals

19-03-19 08:25:00,

France is cracking down on “yellow vest” protesters following a weekend of renewed violence – as the Macron administration announced on Monday that it would ban demonstration in several areas of france – including the Champs Elysees in Paris, if “ultra elements” are present, according to Interior Minister Edouard Philippe. 

‘We will ban demonstrations if ultra elements’ are present, said Philippe, according to CNEWS.

The ban will apply to “neighborhoods that have been most affected as soon as we have knowledge of” the “ultras.” 

“I am thinking of course the Champs-Elysees in Paris, the place Pey-Berland in Bordeaux, the Capitol Square in Toulouse”, Philippe added, where “we will proceed to the immediate dispersal of all groups.“

Philippe added that he has asked the State Judicial Agent to “systematically seek the financial responsibility of troublemakers.” 

J’ai demandé à l’Agent Judiciaire de l’État de rechercher systématiquement la responsabilité financière des fauteurs de trouble.

— Edouard Philippe (@EPhilippePM) March 18, 2019

Saturday marked a significant escalation in violence during the group’s 18th straight week of protests – which began as a revolt against a climate-change gas tax and expanded into a general anti-government movement. 

Ready for a bit of the old ultraviolence?pic.twitter.com/pXmC81yoEQ

— Bellingdog (@Bellingdawg) March 16, 2019

THE SAINT SULPICE IN PARIS JUST IGNITED WHILE I WAS INSIDE pic.twitter.com/40PHCZ177w

— lil g (@lili_gasparr) March 17, 2019

As we noted on Sunday, the riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya. 

Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence. 

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it.

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Inside the Yellow Vests: What the Western media will not report | The Vineyard of the Saker

inside-the-yellow-vests-what-the-western-media-will-not-report-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

19-03-19 08:16:00,

by Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:7797222938_un-gilets-jaunes-sur-les-champs-elysees-samedi-16-mars-2019.jpg

Disclaimer: if you think that Soros/Russia/America/Illuminati is behind the Yellow Vests or some other batsh*t nonsense, then please stop here. This article isn’t for you. Cat videos on YouTube are maybe more appropriate.

While the Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) protests actually began on 17.11.18, I think most are aware that frustration with the government has been building for many, many years. Sarkozy certainly played a big role in this. Deep-rooted contractions have been left unaddressed while offshore accounts were filled up. Without wanting to dedicate a lot of space to the details of each French government since the last massive riots in 1968, I think it is easier to proceed from the fact that France has been essentially occupied by America for decades. For me personally, this helps to explain a lot.

In Russia there is the word “народ”. The closest translation of this into English is “nation”, but actually it doesn’t really convey the sense. We’re talking about fraternal relations amongst peoples that are indistinguishable from kindred ones. And it’s understandable why this concept doesn’t exist in the West. Or at least, I’ve never seen it. When America landed on Omaha beach in 1944 it sure didn’t have the best interests of France at heart. And the quick formation of NATO in 1949 testifies to this. America succeeded to create a loyal bloc in synchronisation with the USSR’s withdrawal from Europe (by the way, talk about “Soviet occupation” is vulgar NATO propaganda). Normandy was bombarded by US aviation in an act of national subjugation. This is also psychological warfare.

After all, it’s no coincidence that as of this very moment Japan – nuked by America – is the No. 1 most indebted country in the world. Africa is another story; the people were stripped of their identity and turned into automated plantation workers for the “civilised” West. This helps to explain why French TV broadcasts American movies, American series, American music, etc on a loop. Or at least until recently. I have noticed that there has been a slight reduction in the last year, but there is still predominance all the same. On TV there is a focus on violence. Children’s cartoons consist of almost endless aggression.

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Yellow Vests Turn Violent As Macron’s ‘Great Debate’ Ends

yellow-vests-turn-violent-as-macrons-great-debate-ends

16-03-19 08:26:00,

On March 16, 2014, Crimea held a referendum election on the question of rejoining the Russian Federation and seceding from Ukraine. The vote passed by an enormous margin, nearly 97% of the voters saying they wished to rejoin Russia. That number was amplified by the 83.1% voter turnout. Clearly this was a very pressing matter for the Crimean people.

But now it is just about five years later. Do the Crimean feel that their rejoining Russia has turned out well for them? TASS reported on a poll that was taken on 10 March to address this question. The agency that took the poll was the Russian Public Opinion Research Center.

Many people in the West may laugh at this title, but this is only because they are themselves steeped in the narrative that Russia is somehow still the Soviet Union, with repressive laws against freedom of speech, expression, the right to gather and so on. The results of the poll would also seem to lend further credence to this idea because the answer was overwhelmingly positive about the transition to Russian sovereignty for the province. The TASS report follows (with emphases added):

Crimea remains positive about the peninsula’s reunification with Russia and if the referendum was held today, 89% of Crimeans would support joining Russia, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center announced the results of a poll on Thursday in Simferopol.

“The attitude towards Crimea’s reunification with Russia remains decisively positive. Eighty-nine percent would cast their votes to reunite with Russia if a referendum were held next Sunday, and 93% view the reunification in a positive light. The level of negative attitudes and support for an Autonomous Republic of Crimea as part of Ukraine are minimal (3% each), the data says. The survey also noted that across Russia, 85% of respondents would support the reunification.

According to the poll, the reunification’s effects are also viewed positively. For instance, 86% of respondents believe that Crimea is developing more successfully as part of Russia, while 72% say that the reunification had a positive effect on their lives and the lives of their families. Moreover, 82% of respondents in Crimea are satisfied with their existence, which exceeds the same number across Russia (64%). More than half of those who participated in the survey (56%) are satisfied with their financial standing.

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Yellow Vest week in review: March 16 to be the biggest march in months | The Vineyard of the Saker

yellow-vest-week-in-review-march-16-to-be-the-biggest-march-in-months-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

14-03-19 08:12:00,

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

The fundamental problem with media coverage regarding regarding the Yellow Vests is that it fails to see it as an already-permanent movement, or even a possibly-permanent one: each week must be either the biggest one yet, or the very last one.

The Yellow Vests see it similarly, but differently: for them each week is the very last one, too… because they will FINALLY storm Élysée Palace (Act 16: “Insurrection”, Act 17: “Decisive Act”, and now Act 18 on March 16: “Ultimatum”.)

The Yellow Vests are like the Vietcong: it’s not that they are so innately tough, it’s that they have nowhere else to go. Ask a protesting Yellow Vester and they’ll tell you: they have no money to pay their bills, much less do anything fun on the weekends… so why not go protest and enjoy what you can’t buy – camaraderie?

As a journalist who has covered every medium- to major-sized protest movement in France in the last decade (and the small ones, i.e. pro-Palestine, anti-imperialism, anti-capitalism, etc.), I have come to deeply resent and fear the Yellow Vests.

What a damned long workout they impose on us! They are marching 10-15km every Saturday, with zero consideration for TV journalists who have to carry equipment. Furthermore, why on earth do they march so damned fast?! If Guinness keeps this record, the Yellow Vests must take the crown for “protester km/h”.

This is surely the legacy of the constant police attacks during the first six weeks – you can’t hit what you can’t catch.

It’s also more confirmation that so many of them have not been politically active (which is also why so many get arrested – they don’t know what they are doing): French demonstrations are supposed to be festive, leisurely, tipsy strolls. French union demonstrations are basically half-parties: you lose a day’s pay… but there will be loud music, lots of alcohol, cheap barbecue, and scatological signs instead of proper propaganda. “We didn’t get our political demands? Oh well, at least we had a good time.” But at Yellow Vest demos public intoxication is far, far rarer and political seriousness is far greater.

The most significant media polls about the Vesters (and there are crazily few polls about them) revolves around a majority of France now not wanting them to protest every Saturday.

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

yellow-vests-ransack-masonic-lodge-in-french-village-as-protest-gets-out-of-hand-video

11-03-19 09:27:00,

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.

Police have opened an investigation, and France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner condemned the vandalism.

“After the Jews, the Freemasons,” he tweeted, alluding to alleged anti-Semitism within the ranks of the protesters. “When stupidity encounters intolerance, it is the worst.” Castaner also accused the Yellow Vests of having “no other project than hatred.”

Après les juifs, les francs-maçons…

Quand la bêtise rivalise avec l’intolérance la plus crasse.

Je salue l’intervention rapide de la @PoliceNationale qui a mis fin aux exactions de ces individus qui n’ont d’autre projet que la haine.

Ne lâchons rien.https://t.co/ytr2YGqfZ0

— Christophe Castaner (@CCastaner) March 10, 2019

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.”

The Yellow Vests have mostly focused their attention on Macron’s economic policies, and have not singled out the Freemasons as a target.

 » Lees verder

Act 17: Police soak Yellow Vest demonstrators with water cannon, fire teargas (VIDEO)

act-17-police-soak-yellow-vest-demonstrators-with-water-cannon-fire-teargas-video

09-03-19 09:56:00,

Police in Paris have deployed water cannon and tear gas against anti-government ‘Yellow Vests’ demonstrators. As the protests enter their 17th straight week, the government has been accused of using excessive force.

Protesters took to the streets of Paris and other cities throughout the country again on Saturday, voicing their opposition to the  economic policies of President Emmanuel Macron that they say benefit the rich but not the majority.

Although turnout has decreased since the Yellow Vests movement began in November, organizers claimed that 90,000 protesters showed up, while France’s Interior Ministry – whose figures are routinely questioned by the Yellow Vests – put that figure at 28,600.

On the Champs-Elysées, riot police hosed down the demonstrators with jets of water and deployed tear gas.

The fresh round of protests comes days after UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called for a full investigation into reports of excessive use of force by the French police, which left over 2,000 injured and dozens maimed.

Violent clashes between demonstrators and armored riot cops were filmed again on Saturday.

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.”

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Yellow Vests Attack Police With “Shit Bombs” In Latest Wave Of Protests

yellow-vests-attack-police-with-8220shit-bombs8221-in-latest-wave-of-protests

07-03-19 08:52:00,

Authored by John Vibes via The Mind Unleashed,

According to French police, Yellow Vest protesters are now using an ancient form of biological warfare in the newest wave of protests. This weekend, authorities reported that Yellow Vest protesters hurled bags of fecal matter at the police. The rudimentary poop-filled mini bombs were made using thin bags and balloons with the intent that they would easily burst on impact.

Rudy Manna from the Alliance police trade union in the southern port city of Marseille, told the AFP that many of the “bombs” hit their targets.

“Three policemen were soaked through with it,” Manna said.

Marseille police headquarters even reported that one officer was injured when he was hit in the elbow with “a poop-filled projectile.”

Very few pictures of the officers were taken, aside from the photo below which was posted to Twitter.

🇨🇵[FLASH] – Hier lors de l’#ActeXVI des #GiletsJaunes, plusieurs policiers ont été souillés par des #cacatov. Par-dessus tout les douches du commissariat ne fonctionnaient plus et ont dû se doucher au jet d’eau à l’eau froide. Jamais ont-ils dit, avoir été autant humiliés #Acte16 pic.twitter.com/6AtTsxAY6H

— La Plume Libre (@LPLdirect) March 3, 2019

“[The police officers] had it in their hair, on their shoes, they had to dump their clothes. They’ve told me they’ve never been that humiliated. And since it was truly sh*tty afternoon, the showers did not work at the North Station, they had to clean themselves with cold water in the garage,” Manna said.

“The policemen were deeply humiliated,” Manna added.

Police suspect that this could be a coordinated strategy, since similar incidents were reported in other cities, including Montpellier. Protesters were organizing on social media and were reportedly encouraging fellow demonstrators to arm themselves with ‘Caca-tovs,’ presumably a play on Molotov cocktails and “caca.”

Twitter user adda françois posted the following picture, which appears to show the creation of these bombs.

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France’s Yellow Vests: Proving cops are indeed part of the 1% | The Vineyard of the Saker

frances-yellow-vests-proving-cops-are-indeed-part-of-the-1-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

05-03-19 09:07:00,

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

The demonstration for “Acte 16”, on March 2nd, was designed as a sight-seeing tour which passed by bastions of rich, traitorous criminals (the OECD, a school of luxury marketing, etc.) and so it concluded at a small roundabout in a ritzy area, Denfert-Rochereau.

As protesters amassed and cops loaded up, and with time in between my on-air interviews for PressTV, I headed for a florist shop. I needed some poles to train my sagging office plant, George W. Bouchra, named after a former boss who departed ignominiously (she was never employed by PressTV nor my boss – it’s a shared office).

As I began talking to the female shopkeeper, who seemed to be deciding whether or not to lock up and flee, a member of France’s riot police barged in and interrupted our conversation. He was thirsty. I can see why – French riot cops wear more armour than an American football player, and carry more attacking equipment than Batman. With his huge size thus rendered even huger, he quite intimidated the petite young florist.

The florist, of course, expected to pass her day among delicate flowers. She probably had no idea the Yellow Vest demonstration was designed to combust literally at her doorstep.

My hand to God, he asked her for bottled water not once, but 6 to 9 times. Was he convinced that florists also sell bottled water? More likely is: because he was a cop he knew that all he had to do was apply pressure to this lady/citizen, and she would hand over her own bottled water. Of course, because he was a French cop, he also knew that there would be zero repercussions if what he was doing was not forthright.

The intimidated young lady kept insisting she had no bottled water to give, and the cop finally gave up. When she turned to back to me I asked, “And do you have anything for me to eat?”

With the same look of fear still in her eyes, she answered quite earnestly, “No, I don’t. I’m sorry.” She honestly believed me, poor lady! It was only after I smiled and pressed her again,

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Wheelchair-Bound Yellow Vest Pepper Sprayed By French Cops; Another Man Shot In Face

wheelchair-bound-yellow-vest-pepper-sprayed-by-french-cops-another-man-shot-in-face

04-03-19 08:10:00,

As the Yellow Vest protests rage across France for the 16th straight week, shocking footage has emerged of police brutality. Apparently a Friday call for calm by President Emmanuel Macron doesn’t apply to police. 

In one clip, a French policeman appears to blast a wheelchair-bound man in the face with pepper spray. 

More and more crazy videos appearing on the internet after yesterday’s #GiletsJunes #YellowVests protest in #France.

In this one #Macron’s policemen pepper spray a handicapped man. pic.twitter.com/6QYeCAuGar

— BasedPoland (@BasedPoland) March 3, 2019

In another video, reportedly captured with a mobile phone camera, a concussion can be heard – after which the camera shows a man on the ground who had been shot in the face as first responders rush to assist him. 

Encore une fois à #Paris un gilet jaune recoy un tir de #LBD40 en pleine tête. (Au visage) #ActeXVI #GiletsJaunes pic.twitter.com/03CNdUYaca

— Gilets Jaunes Européens (@GEuropeens) March 2, 2019

French police have been firing ‘non-lethal’ 40mm rubber projectiles, which are supposed to be less harmful than rubber bullets. It is unclear what the man was hit with, or whether his injuries were life-threatening. 

PARIS – Un blessé grave est évacué. D’après les témoins, il a reçu un tir de flashball dans la bouche. #GiletsJaunes #ActeXVI #Acte16 #2mars #2mars2019 pic.twitter.com/lA5joZ7RAa

— Clément Lanot (@ClementLanot) March 2, 2019

Le blessé à la tête sur la [Vidéo] a été immédiatement pris en charge par les @CStreetmedic puis ensuite évacuée par les pompiers #Paris #Acte16 #ActeXVI #GiletsJaunes #yellowjackets #ViolencesPolicières @davduf pic.twitter.com/LZNrWE4hb6

— Gilets Jaunes Européens (@GEuropeens) March 2, 2019

Approximately 39,000 Yellow Vest protesters turned out across France over the weekend, including 4,000 in Paris according to official government figures – down from the 46,600 reported last week. 

“we keep protesting every Saturday because Macron doesn’t respond at all to the yellow vests’ demands.

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Tear gas v flowers: Yellow Vests march through Paris for 16th week in a row (WATCH LIVE)

tear-gas-v-flowers-yellow-vests-march-through-paris-for-16th-week-in-a-row-watch-live

02-03-19 01:59:00,

Yellow Vest protesters have taken to the streets of Paris for the 16th consecutive week. While some enjoyed a friendly chat with police officers, others faced tear gas after trying to break off from a pre-approved marching route.

Unlike previous demonstrations, Paris officials authorized a designated route for Saturday’s “Act 16” anti-government marchers – a span of road beginning at the Arc de Triomphe and ending at Place Denfert-Rochereau in the south of the city.

In contrast to the chaotic clashes with police during previous protests, photographs and videos reveal a largely peaceful, orderly demonstration.

Videos taken by an RT France reporter even showed Yellow Vests and French police chatting amiably, with one protester even offering a riot cop a flower.

Police, however, later used tear gas on demonstrators who attempted to defy the pre-approved protest route by marching down New York Avenue.

Premiers tirs de gaz lacrymogène, après que des gilets jaunes ont tenté de poursuivre sur l’avenue de New York alors que les forces de l’ordre les appelaient à se diriger du côté de l’avenue Albert de Mun #acteXVI#parispic.twitter.com/LOCyViyKwm

— Nadège Abderrazak (@Nadege_RTFrance) March 2, 2019

Similar marches are being held across France, but activists have expressed concern that the movement is losing momentum.

One Yellow Vest group on Facebook has called on demonstrators to return to the movement’s “spontaneous” roots with unsanctioned protests held at unauthorized locations.

The Yellow Vest movement began in November 2018 after French President Emmanuel Macron announced controversial tax hikes. Over 2,000 people have been arrested since the demonstrations began, and dozens of protesters have been injured during violent clashes with police.

Macron called for a “return to calm” on Friday, denouncing the “intolerable” violence that has resulted from the weeks of protests.

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