By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
France’s ‘Gilets Jaunes’ Movement, which in English means ‘Yellow Vests’, completed its first anniversary last Saturday but with mixed results.
The protests that had sparked in Paris following increase in fuel prices and soon spread out to other cities by evolving into a broader social campaign over income inequality and the inefficient presidency of Emmanuel Macron, with vociferous demonstrations every Saturday, seems to have succeeded in attaining some of its demands, but not all of them.
The gains are paltry, though the Yellow Vests, braving harsh crackdown by the security forces including severe injuries and a few fatalities, managed to reverse the government’s fuel tax increase and compelled it to grant a 10 billion Euro aid package for the poor and deprived classes of the French society.
Their main demand, however, remains unmet, and that is, the resignation of President Macron and change in the country’s laws. In other words, the Yellow Vests’ demonstrations have failed to become a movement for real political change.
The turnout for the anniversary rally in Paris on November 16, was a shadow of the earlier protests, as the police successfully contained the demonstrators by revoking at the last moment the previous permission for a public rally, following eruption of violence at the Place d’Italie in the southern part of the city.
Observers believe, the government itself orchestrated violence through its agent provocateurs in order to find an excuse for an unwarranted and unconstitutional ban of the demonstrations.
As usual, the French authorities which are notorious for providing asylum to terrorists from other countries, such as the MKO hypocrites, and are quick to express support for thugs and vandals disturbing security, plundering public property, and murdering innocent citizens – as happened recently in Iraq and Iran – resorted to brutal tactics against the peaceful protestors in Paris through use of tear gas, water cannon, and brutal baton-charges.
It seems Macron, who is out of touch with everyday life of the people in France as is evident by his policies of tax cut for millionaires at the expense of the poor, has resorted to deceit in the hope of blowing the steam out of the Yellow Vest Movement by trying to appease the protestors with cosmetic measures, since he is afraid of the massive strike planned for December 5 by train and hospital workers and civil servants.
He wishes death for the movement, but for the moment he is incapable of totally suppressing it; hence his policy of divide and rule.
It should be recalled that the Yellow Vest protestors who burst on the scene last winter and caught international attention, came from all walks of life. Initially they captured the sentiments of Europeans across the borders of France, especially in parts of Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and Holland, threatening a grassroots revolution across the Continent, which has failed to materialize.
The reasons are obvious. Though earnest in their demands and justified in their peaceful protests, they lack leadership and have no fixed agenda, including what the replacement of the present governmental structure ought to be.
Moreover, officialdom throughout Europe, or for that matter in the US and Canada is not with the Yellow Vests, since the West does not want the status quo of the European Union to be changed.
This is in sharp contrast to the devilish designs of the US and NATO states in Latin America where they actively support lawless elements against the legal governments (as in Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba); or in Muslim World, where they have destabilized and destroyed Syria and Iraq through macabrely murderous terrorists, in addition to fanning the flames of sedition in Lebanon and expressing open support for miscreants in Iran.
To sum up, still all is not lost for the Yellow Vests. The movement ought to take stock of its weaknesses and shortcomings, and plan for the future in a peaceful way through public attraction of support, if it hopes in attaining social justice that depends on not just President Macron’s resignation but a complete overhaul of France’s governmental structure.
Can the Yellow Vest Movement do it? If not, it would be said, it has flattered the public only to deceive them.