ONCE AGAIN ON THE YELLOW VESTS

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16/04/2019 by socialistfight

It is an arm-wrestling match that must be maintained until May 1 when the Yellow Vests should join the union’s demo

By Viriato Lusitania

The Gilets movement, which is still the main political element in France, continues its demonstrations but it stagnates in number of participants although the people participating in it change quite frequently. The pressure of repression is strong and the number of wounded and imprisoned is unpreceded for many years.

More than twenty GJs lost an eye, dozens with facial bones broken into several pieces, hands torn off, 800 GJs sentenced to prison terms and trials by the thousands are on-going. The government has enacted a law that allows the Prefectures to ban all demonstrations without the intervention of the courts and even to arrest people without a court order or justification.

The persistence and determination of the Yellow Vests shows that the movement has deep social roots and now is drifting to the left but not yet to much class consciousness. Today, three main currents are present in this movement. In any case, the movement by its own characteristics should move even further to the left.

● Mélenchon or France Insoumise.

● The anarchists, self-declared or not

● A serious coming together of other workers and Unions

To situate this paper in time, I assume the reader is aware of previous developments in other issues of SF. On March 16 there was a large demonstration of the Yellow Vests and ecologists, but the press concentrated on the action of some “black blocks”, a semi-anarchist group, rather than reporting on the fighting and the most proletarianized layers of the youth. On March 23rd, Macron deployed the army, which announced that if attacked, it would fire live ammunition.  Neither on that day nor a week later, on the 30th, did the black blocks show up. It is part of their tactics.

After the fight which centered mainly in Paris, and the call to the army against the Yellow Vests, the influential currents in the Yellow Vests movement can be defined roughly as follows:

MARSEILLE, FRANCE – APRIL 14: Jean-Luc Melenchon, the Presidential candidate for Front De Gauche, speaks in front 100,000 people during an election campaign meeting on the Prado Beach ,on April 14, 2012 in Marseille, France.Jean-Luc Melenchon is the third favorite in the French presidential election. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)

The dominant one is under the political influence of France Insoumise, and therefore of Mélenchon, which has resulted in the one hand in the disappearance of the right and the extreme right in any organized form in the movement but on the other the appearance of the types of demands and proposals which are put forward so that the tendency begins to organize the movement and advance demands in accordance with a political reform in the sense of a parliamentary republic and a Keynesian type plan to end the crisis.

The Algerian example, which peacefully but massively succeeded in kicking out Bouteflika and even the activity of the Black Blocks also had the negative effects of driving away the mass of demonstrators but even this had positive effects; it enhanced the image of the Yellow Vests as combatants. But it has reinforced Melenchon’s tendency, because it appears to the majority that minority clashes against an organized and disciplined repressive body cannot decide the question.

Most likely, their influence will appear to be further strengthened after the Saint Nazaire meeting where more than 300 local general meetings, sent representatives. There is no other organization as broad and representative and the trend is to rely on the resolutions of Saint Nazaire.

The second trend is more the product of the abandonment by the left and far left of the Yellow Vests movement and by years of “socialist” governments in the service of the capitalists and against the workers. This trend is occupied… not by real anarchists but by their ideology which remains extreme liberal. It is composed of all tendencies who are opposed to any form of organization, some even coming from the ecology movement to save the planet, others who favour confrontation and “violence” smashing things up because they do not understand the development of a social movement of the masses and they despise the workers.

This growing trend among young people who are just starting to fight and who are enthusiastic about mediatized forms that seem to produce “concrete” results (although there is nothing but a strengthening of propaganda and repressive power laws) is particularly unclear, individualistic and youthful. It can be described as “semi-anarchist” because anarchists have a better understanding of the need to organize themselves. These semi- anarchists are opposed to any form of “pyramidal” organization that is most necessary for the continuation of the movement as well as actions towards the still passive population and favors the actions of small groups which, according to them, disturb the “consensus”. There is a poorly hidden contempt for workers conceived as “stupid” or “conformists” and other forms of bourgeois thought.

Often Melenchon’s supporters, the ‘Insubordinate France’ (France Insoumise), and semi-anarchists coincide in their rejection of the “bureaucratic forms” that in their view means any form of democratic centralism and delegation of power. Instead they promote a so-called “direct democracy” that is always transformed into command or maneuvers which they treat by denial. As a result, meetings and resolutions become very long and/or difficult to obtain and much more difficult to implement.

So, the tendency to move the movement out towards the workers, in the working class neighborhoods, is the result of a few militants, coming from the left or extreme left parties, dissatisfied with their leadership or trade union activists and/or some anarchists of proletarian origin and with greater fighting experience. For the past month, this trend has been distributing leaflets outside workplaces, the Metro and markets in working-class neighborhoods. The public reception is still good, and the popularity of the Yellow Vests’ demands remains high, although the movement itself has backed off by the image of “violence” that the press has managed to give it.

The aim is to attract workers but above all to direct the movement towards the conjunction between the working-class unions and class fighters. In trade unions there are also tendencies that push to join in the fight, but the direction from the national leaders put the brakes as much as they can. It is an arm-wrestling match that must be maintained until May 1 when the Yellow Vests should join the union’s demo.

We should add a sort of “youth tendency” because there are a significant number of young people who enter political life, initially through “action” and who begin to make their political weapons, often under the influence of semi-anarchists, in any case with their conception of ideas which appears quite clearly as a form of liberal and “anti-Leninist” thought… without having any idea of what is Leninism!

Assemblies are widespread and it is possible to put forward ideas and we already perceive that illusions are beginning to give way and that we can criticize capitalism, say it is irreformable and propose its overthrow.  Recently a meeting bringing together more than 250 local General Meetings all over France took place in Saint Nazaire. Things are moving forward and will continue to move forward on this aspect.

These days, the debate has been ideologically driven. A series of books and films have been published on the issue of the Yellow Vests, generally presenting the point of view of lawyers, philosophers and journalists, or relatives of the Insubordinate France. It is absolutely necessary to advance the point of view of proletarian thought; a very important task and comrades are working out a brochure.

This GJs movement should be studied by every person who fights capitalism. In the present conditions it would necessarily be the form of revolt against impoverishment, against Union’s bureaucracy and the so called “left” parties who cannot give a lead to it. ▲

11 thoughts on “ONCE AGAIN ON THE YELLOW VESTS

  1. Viriato says:

    I would like to give an update on the leaders of the movement.

    Since the very beginning of the movement, leaders have appeared, most of them self-proclaimed and immediately rejected by the Gilets Jaunes.

    A few figures pushed to the forefront by both the press and the extreme right were rejected immediately. Among them, the one who persisted the most was Ingrid Levavasseur who went through different phases and tests on the part of the government to push her to the lead and that today has completely lost all influence if she ever had one.

    But as the repression hit some GJs Maxime Nicolle, Eric Drouet, Jerôme Rodrigues who lost an eye by a police shooting, as well as especially by the moral influence of the one who triggered the movement, Priscilla Ludowsky, these GJs were “recognized” by the press first (because macronia needs leaders to stop the movement) and to some extent by the GJs too. This is very relative, but it does exist.

    Other leaders or more “intellectual” representatives have appeared, on the fringes or within the movement and among them Juan Branco, François Boulo and others.

    Almost all these “leaders”, more recognized by the press than by the GJs, but still…, revolve around the ideas of a social democratic left close to the F.I. There may be variations but the fundamental line is this one… for the moment.

    This is not unusual because, the France Insoumise is present in the movement, there is only this left-wing thought. The POI inside leaves too much initiative to the masses and does not know how to put forward the necessary slogans. In my modest opinion, an “economism” to avoid. I hope they will correct it, but I’m not sure of anything.

    The movement does not claim to be “left-wing” but the fundamental tendency, its roots, poses it to the left and, of course, it appears on all domains.

    At the moment these leaders and personalities are preparing the First of May, International Workers’ Day, in the sense of a “revolution” of which they are putting a lot of efforts into the mobilization of workers and Yellow Vests.

    It is important to note that in Paris on April 27th “Act XXIV”, is held a demonstration of some CGT trade union federations, without the central calling of the CGT’s direction and with the participation of the Yellow Vests.

    Leaders” who are not leaders (one of the characteristics of this movement, leaders who are not recognized as such but who still lead the mass of GJs) often talk about a double communication: that of the government through official channels and that of the GJs through Facebook or other similar means. They are saying that the people just is having enough and the time for “révolution” is comming.

    Recently, after the fire in ND de Paris, a billionaire offered 200 million (and he gets back 180 million from the State) and, contrary to his predictions, he caused an uproar of indignation because they have been crying poverty for years: “there is no money” for wages and poors but when it is necessary to take advantage of a tragedy to advertise themselves, then the billions appear by magic.

    I have already seen such a phenomenon of a rise in struggles: all the manoeuvres of the reaction backfired; all the declarations and actions of the masses are successful.

    There is no better sign of a situation that is changing.

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  2. Viriato says:

    Some other aspects of the YVs movement.
    Here https://tribunemlreypa.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/acte-23-echauffourees-a-paris/ some video of the last Paris demo. Castaner has said that there were “9. 000 Gilets Jaunes….” Judge by yourselves.
    These videos shows exactly what it is becoming a movement that changes almost every week not to say every day.
    I will try po ‘paint” yesterday’s Lyon Centre General Meeting (A.G. in french) to a better understanding of the movement.
    First of all, yesterday was holidays in France but some 100 GJs gathered together in a public square to discuss.
    The discussion was on, mainly, two topics.
    To declare or not to declare the demos in Préfecture and the “convergence” with the working class. If a demo is declared, normally, the police would not attack it…but they does against the GJs. Some say that it is because “provocateurs” others because of irresponsible youths and other because it is the policy of the gouvernement. It is in my opinion a mix of the threee ones but, declared should bring more people in a situation where accumulation of forces should be the main objective.
    I won’t tell the whole history because it is long and quite confused, but on the first question there was a vote that gives 50% each. Currently there has been few “declared” demos with bigger attendance than non declared demos, but the strong semi-anarchist tendancy in A.G.s (not in the demos) stick to their vision.

    There was no agreement for saturday next. Then it won’t be declared. This mkes the demo the “thing” of those who know thzt there will be lacrymogene bases, clubbing some times, a demo with no traced way, as semi-anarchists say “not the Unions boring promenades” but these demos has been discoraging a lot of old GJs, women (not all because there are some that are as courageous or more than men) and families and from some 4000 demonstrators in Lyon we are now near 1000. It is not the xase in other cities, Paris for instance. This is the reason why some ones are asking for declared demos till we have the “critical mass” to go further.

    But semi-anarchist inflate the number of demonstrators. A newcomer, a worker put the right questions but the vote leave the question in suspens.

    Some other ones put forward all types of schemes of how making a demo “fooling the police” to some preposterous advice as “distracting the police by sending “three or four GJs to the other end of the City” and thus “confusing the police”. Of course, the only one confused was himself. This semi-anarchist don’t understand the most elementary conditions of a mass demonstration.

    But, the same person when he treated the other problem was totally correct and stressed the necessity to join thre Hospital Workers that are beginning a fight, and also by supporting them with a very good leaflet, and to prépare for the 1 rst mai and others venues to join the increasing working class fight next month.

    This mixture of absolutely naive propositions with some sound class instinct makes all the charme of the today’s Gilet Jaunes movement.

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  3. Thanks for the very useful reports, Viriato. I’m pleased to see that you feel we can all be more confident in the potential of the Yellow Vest movement, and the potential for its politics to improve.
    Surely the key and immediate question to put to YV protesters is “what is the YV movement for?” – is it for asking for reforms or should it be built up until the Macron-capitalist state can be overthrown?
    This immediately takes the discussion to a higher level of discussing revolutionary politics versus reformist politics, to discussing socialism versus anarchism, and to discussing the nature of the capitalist crisis (and the US Empire’s warmongering and French imperialism’s role). From there to discussing the use by capitalism of racist divisiveness, migrants as scapegoats, the rise of fascist parties in Germany, etc.
    But also to a discussion about revolution to end the capitalist state and fight for proletarian power (Marx’s dictatorship of the proletariat) and what happened to the USSR and previous workers states in Eastern Europe.
    In other words, Macron doesn’t hold back from extreme violence and lethal force, why should workers when they are trying to take and hold on to power?

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    • viriato says:

      I will try to answer.
      You write “Surely the key and immediate question to put to YV protesters is “what is the YV movement for?” – is it for asking for reforms or should it be built up until the Macron-capitalist state can be overthrown?”
      What for? This is changing almost by the week. The movement that has gone to the left at snail speed, at least here in Lyon, where I see directly what happens (but Lyon is a conservative city not known by it’s revolutionary impulse) is gaining some speed.

      How much? it is difficult to say but in Paris, as videos shows, implying more and more rank and file Gilets Jaunes and not only black blocs or “casseurs” (breakers, hooligans ?).

      However, there is much discussion about those fights with the police. For someones, those minority fights (this is a fact, the browls concern only a minority of the demonstrators) just give arms to the Macron propagande and prevent people who cannot fight because they are not young or they are disabled or something and for the others, without that violence, we are not Heard, nor can we reach the rest of the population.

      The movement has come from “no to fuel taxes” in the very beginning, to ” to improve our society we must go out of capitalism” (I do not remember well the exact phrase coming out of the St Nazaire meeting but the idea is that one).

      This is a progress but, till today, the ones who appears as representatives of the Gilet Jaunes, as Juan Branco, or F. Boulo are more or less in a left reformist, France Insoumise position. As well as the well known Rodrigues, Drouet and Nicolle.

      We can say then that the most advanced (in terms of mass movement) ideas come from the Social Democracy, even if they are not recognized as such, because of the “a-political” feeling of still many GJs. The apoliticals are giving a lesson on politics to everyone, but as it happens, conciousness lag behind the actual facts and the movement.

      But the general feeling is that the “system” should be changed.
      No one propose Socialism nor has a precise idea of… for what?. In the moment a return to “progressive capitalism”, or the “statu quo ante” the conter réforms of Sarkozy, Hollande and Macron, an illusion, but you know that the masses make revolutions looking backwards.

      I am considering now that the propaganda for Socialism and more to the left ideas should be pushed more quickly and more audacioussly. Why? Because there is a section of the masses who are advancing quite fast in these days (the problem is always that things change so fast to my understanding that I am always somewhat back).

      This movement has been a Berezina for so much people. I have gathered some few old comrades to exchange and thus avoid in some way subjective thought, but they have been also sweeped out by the nervous tension of a so long fight. We find ourselves outdated, needing to update our vision, without giving away marxism, without loosing contact with the fighting masses, etc. This is the work of a party not of some individuals. They,then, broke apart under the weight of the charge. I am myself near the point of nervous break and my head becomes all but clear.

      We need a party! And there is none, every one deserted the fight. The ones which are in, doesn’t do a good job or by talking leftist non-sens or by fearing a more open marxist propaganda because of the less and less existant non-party feeling of the masses. But the masses have learnt a lot during the fight. These people has forgotten Danton: “Ce dont on a besoin c’est de l’audace, encore de l’audace, toujours de l’audace et la révolution (la France in fact) sera sauvée!” (Audacity).

      Then the movement try and goes on the path of semi-anarchism but also real class conciousness that is appearing almost spontaneously but this, even if it is a big step forward, it is not enough. The need for a well organized, discipline, (people here comes to one, two leaflets distribution and then they go on holidays or back home…) political clarity etc.

      This class conciousness is also coming forth in some way because the exemple of the Gilets Jaunes. Other people are entering in the fight and/or are coming to us for support in their fights willing to emulate GJs fighting spirit. This is a snow ball in formation but not still running down the slope but could happend. Or perhaps en the making, but I cannot say what I have not wotnessed clearly and Lyon is a backward palce in the GJs fight. A party all over France is needed to capture the whole picture.

      It is getting too long. I’ll answer your other questions or assertions in other post.

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  4. viriato says:

    You write “In other words, Macron doesn’t hold back from extreme violence and lethal force, why should workers when they are trying to take and hold on to power?”

    Well this is clear to many, but the question is not also “lethal force” but where to aim that force.

    Give a gun to someone is one thing, to learn him where to shoot is another one. People hère, when they get out of their calm and politeness are quite violent or revolutionnary by a long tradition. This is coming openly before our eyes.

    This time of “colère” (wrath) is perhaps coming in a no so distant future. Please take my statements as coming frome one person who is near but not in the center of every thing in France, that is, Paris.

    If this state of spirit, becoming now a part of the GJs movement, takes the majority of the class, Macron will be replaced as Bouteflika has been replaced but to what? or an open Bonapartist dictatorship or a revolution with no clear concious aim (this will come in such conditions, of course) .

    Macron is playing with fire. He must speak this thursday but now Gjs are saying that they won’t give up no matter what he can say. This is the mood of the masses coming to the GJs demos.

    The ideas, social démocratic “consciousness” (which is of course apparent but not fully imprinted in the masses souls) are the cover of what the masses action shows, a much more revolutionary socialist push. But still, in my opinion, this is not yet the majority trend but it can be very quickly, depending on so much factors I could not describe. Then Macron is in a hurry and we expects some little promises or gives to defuse the movement.

    Saturday next, the 27/4 there will be a demo gathering dissident federations of the CGT, also Force Ouvrière Union linked to the POI and a number of Gilet Jaunes. This is also a new trend because it goes in some way against the semi-anarchists ways and in a different way as the traditional Unions promenades.

    Will see if the convergence of the Gilets Jaunes and the most fighting (relative) Unions is a massive demonstration that could find the way for another alternative other than the Socialdemocratic or the semi-anarchist path.

    Of course, even if the demo is a succès, there is still much way forward.

    This GJs and now coming soon, the mass of workers, as every real mass movement, is a process.

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  5. When I talked about “lethal force” I was referring to the scientific notion of the dictatorship of the proletariat, not urging the immediate use of arms. The use of arms comes with the mass insurrection, but that can only come when a rebuilt Leninist communist party is leading the working class.
    Lenin says, “without revolutionary theory, there will be no revolutionary practice”. The urgent requirement now in France (and everywhere) is the development of revolutionary theory and the coming together of a small, then a larger group of revolutionary cadres who AGREE on Leninist political perspectives and run a website/paper that gets WORLD HISTORY correct and can put out leaflets and papers giving CORRECT leadership.
    Obviously, I believe that the EPSR is doing that in the UK, and that its politics apply equally to France.
    To date, left-wing politics have been dominated by anarchism and reformist, pro-social democratic twaddle that diverts workers back to parliamentary politics and illusions in bourgeois “democracy” (the hidden dictatorship of the bourgeoisie); in fact, they are not genuinely left-wing at all but dominated by middle-class prejudice and anti-communism.
    But haven’t such rotten politics been shown up brilliantly by the upsurge of the Yellow Vest movement?
    And, Viriato, I can well understand that you are quite tired by your work at this time and that your head is often left spinning! But I also note with huge appreciation that there is much greater SPIRIT to what you are saying now about the strengths of the YV movement, the direction of history, and the rottenness of the social-democratic liars trying to mislead the movement. You have become more confident too, which is great.
    Perhaps I should come to Lyon! I will have to brush up my French!

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  6. viriato says:

    “Lenin says, “without revolutionary theory, there will be no revolutionary practice”. The urgent requirement now in France (and everywhere) is the development of revolutionary theory and the coming together of a small, then a larger group of revolutionary cadres who AGREE on Leninist political perspectives and run a website/paper that gets WORLD HISTORY correct and can put out leaflets and papers giving CORRECT leadership.”

    You know, what you have written, a bunch of groups has this understading.

    Bur this is just à precondition to do worker’s politics.

    The question is how, in particular conditions, apply this.

    And at that point you have a thousand different views of the general réality which is more complex and dificult and when you must apply this general concepts to a process of a changing politically backward worker’s movement, that is another even more dificult matter. We need clear worker’s intelectuel that can be trust by their fidelity to the working class and by a personal fighting past and political knowledge and clear analysis.

    To rest in the first step of general truths is confortable and is what many people do as “marxism” (they can combine it with somme “Union work” to fool some people). Here in France we have this kind of people.

    But when you are forced by a large worker’s movement to think with your head and try not to lost yourself in the numerous, diferents, complexe, contradictory issues coming to the fore every day and twice a day or more, (and in a backward theoretical level of those same workers who are fighting) theory is only a somewhat far reference and you need to use your own head even if theory is an indispensable support that you must stick to it.

    In some ocasions Ì have felt myself as if I were in a “before the first International situation” but with conditions, where the whole theoretical past can come very quickly but that makes dificult to say what it must be say.

    Leadership in every spontaneous movement will appear and is in the making everywhere. But it cannot emerge in the beginning because the ancient worker leadership has failed and semi-anarchist ideas, which goes further than anarchists to the environemental people, to youngs against what they have “learnt” by the anticommunist propagande of what is leninism, has put obstacles to this process.
    Then when the first leaders appear, they can only be socialdemocrats.
    The same for organization.
    Semi-anarchists, opposed to both leaders and organization (thet say that they are against any “pyramidal structure”…), can not lead nor organize, but they through stones against the police and disrupt demos making more dificult the necessary gathering of forces and fight and make all sort of confused proposition and actions that make the mess even greater.
    But, even like this, even in this situation, communists are forced to work in, not just make “theoretical observations” from the sidewalk. For that, there is no lack here of “marxists organisations”.

    And when there is no party at all, you speak in public meetings, print “explanations”, you try to gather a team (but it fails because every old activist reach it’s limits, get tired or find that, in fact, the fight is too much for him when he/she see the efects of represion or the dificulties of the task) you call the activist of other parties to come to organize at least a minimum, to no use (they look at “that” with mistrust because their party or union leaders have slandered the movement and the people in) . You get isolated, because “marxist”, by absurds semi-anarchists and socialdemocrats. You send them to the devil, search the ones who can understand a marxist point of view, are forced to support in elections a socialdemocrat to counter the right wing and publish in every site yo can, as much a clear picture of this important fight, as you can.

    But, even like this, all this is a step forward, not enough, of course, but tell how to do better.

    Comrade, the day who have the same in Britain, try to apply yours recomendations but go carefully your health could suffer. Better, use your head, marxism is not a dogma but a guide for action, and in action, you are forced to use your own head and make a lot of compromises, “go forward and backward”, try every posible issue. In these cases, better to unite with people that have something in common with you for the multifacetic tasks of a real worker’s movement.

    I have worked with semi-anarchists, NPA activists, POI militants, F.I. militants for specific necessary tasks of the movement, made a lot of concesions but push the movement as much as I can in the good direction. For instance, I have marched side by side with outright fascists when they were in the movement because in the moment there was no possibility to through them away which comes latter, and so forth, because the permanence of the movement in the actual conditions of the classe fight here is the most important political thing,

    And the masses and new activists (there will be a whole generation of them coming out of this movement) learn in the action, in class struggle, they only real way to learn for the masses.

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  7. Yes, indeed, Marxism is a guide to action. And you are right that people can declare themselves “Leninists” and claim to have “revolutionary theory” but when they pretend to apply it…. they turn out to be defeatists, anti-communists and support social-democracy.
    I have given some examples previously of how the EPSR has applied Leninism correctly to the UK (and the world situation) – for example (and very relevant to the French issues), the EPSR has explained that “open all borders, welcome all migrants” is a reformist-idealist stance that plays into the hands of the fascists, whereas Lenin urges workers to understand that “the only true solidarity is to fight for the revolution in your own country, and to fight for the revolutionary line in all countries, without exception”.
    Isn’t that helpful to workers in France who are slandered as racist if they do not fall for the “welcome all migrants” posturing by the fake-“left”, who are just spouting reformist nonsense?
    Without making a revolution (and having a workers state with a monopoly on foreign trade and a perfect right to decide who should enter the country and who shouldn’t), you are left with capitalist exploitation and mass unemployment and schooling and housing shortages. Why would anyone sensible say “let’s stick with capitalism and share out what little we already have”??
    Even more importantly, the Yellow Vest movement will face endless pressure to desist from rebellion “because France will improve, the economy will get better”. True Marxism-Leninism will explain strongly that the monopoly-capitalist system is crashing on a global-historic scale and that the YV rebellion should STRENGTHEN and DEEPEN and shed all social-democratic illusions in favour of transforming into a revolutionary communist movement. I accept that this will require the preparedness to argue in UNITY and CONFLICT with YV people.
    But it is the ONLY way that gains in the form of working-class communist cadres and the spread of Marxism will be made, even if the YV movement dies down.

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  8. Viriato says:

    Some comments on represion.

    First of all, here is a photo https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2422945231070173&set=gm.2316006858685060&type=3&theater&ifg=1 with some coments.
    One of them says “What do we miss???? Let’s see… the muzzled press, violence, repression with complete impunity, marking (bleu water thrown by the police to identifie people), parking to better destroy the GJs the sç called “nase” police surround a number of `gjs not given them any way out and gasing the wholelot of them), hysterical dogs, militiamen. What is missing are the trains (that we have) and the (concentration) camps (maybe they are already ready)..”

    Another gives a recipe “Take some pepper powder, a lot of it and then there are other things and then some short wood to tickle the snout of all these charming little dogs.”

    This is the level of represion that a “Democratic Government” has achieve and it is not finished. I have seen policemen in Paris with war automatic rifles ready to fire, snipers on the roofs and, of course, a lot of informants out and in the GJs demos.

    There are mainly three corps against the Gilets Jaunes: la Gendarmerie under a military status, les Compagnies Républicaiens de Sécurité (CRS), from the National Police and the ones coming from the Brigade anti Criminalité (BAC) the worst ones responsible of more than two thirds of injuries, as eyes and hands off.
    There are diferences between these corps, as experiency and the seeing since XXIV weeks has shown.
    Gendarmes take a more or less, “keep the republican order” attitude. People doesn’t fear them yet they just avoid them. They do their work and that is all, at least in Lyon.
    CRS are more brutal and do not retrait from clubbing and charging the demo. Hated since longtime by the masses who shout at them “CRS, SS!”.
    The worst is the BAC, primarely destined to control and police the so called “zones de non droit in banlieue” (non-law zones in ‘inmigrants’ neighbourghoods) In fact they practice racism, facies control and molesting inmigrants people’s neighbourghoods. They are also responsible for crimes against second generation Youth. These are the most hated and feared because they set traps, injure deliveratedly people and insult the demonstrators and make even death threats them.

    All this forces plus a press campaign that would fulfill the better dreams of Doctor Goebbels is what we are fighting with a lot of will but with all the left and unions looking us as a sort of strange phenomenon they say it is not as much proletarian as they can judge…
    This is changing in some way and now unions are beginning to come, but, could we hold till they decide to come or will them just wait the movement fades away or they try to take the lead and buried the whole thing ones and for all?

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  9. Viriato says:

    Another aspect of the struggle.

    Following the many injured, a group of carers get organized , in a completely spontaneous way, who call themselves “street meds” for “street doctors” and comes to every demo to help the ones injured.

    These are the people who work in the Health Services as carers, nurses and assistants, but not too many doctors whom I did not see in the demos. A question of class barriers perhaps.

    These comrades follow the demonstration closely and intervene when a demonstrator is hit by an LBD (hard plastic projectile fired by a weapon of war that caused eye loss, crushed mandibles, deep leg injuries, etc.) or a flash ball (another type of police weapon) or has been beaten or hit by CRS or BAC and bleeding profusely.

    They can, most of the time, only put bandages on, immobilize struck or broken limbs, give some pain relief and… call the SAMU (Emergency Medical Assistance Service) or hospitals.

    Today, in every city where Gjs iare marching, there is a group of ‘street meds’ who are sometimes attacked by the BAC police and/or threatened.

    Of course, the mainstream press doesn’t talk about these “street meds” and goes as far as they can to blame the Gilets Jaunes of the “violence”.

    These spontaneous forms of organization can make some demonstrators influence by semi-anarchists, and believe that there is no need for a more advanced and disciplined organization and so they proclaim it.

    As a matter of fact, an excellent thing, these “street meds” can become in this another aspect, its opposite.

    It goes without saying that with a good organisation that works, these “streets med” could be better equipped and mobilise people even more to help the injured.

    Like

  10. Viriato says:

    Ths is what the police is doing in France against Gilets Jaunes and for capitalists.

    https://static.mediapart.fr/etmagine/default/files/2019/04/30/maria.jpg?width=1000&height=895&width_format=pixel&height_format=pixel

    But we wont give up. On ne lâche rien!

    Like

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