Category Archives: emergency

Bernard E. Harcourt: “Compagnon de route [Fellow Traveler]”

‘So for now, rather than put on the yellow vest, I would take on the mantle of “companion de route” – fellow traveler, like those who, famously, in the twentieth century, did not join the Communist Party, but sympathized with the aims and goals of Communists and were willing to work with the movement.’

Etienne Balibar: “‘Gilets jaunes’: the meaning of the confrontation”

“That is how democracy is invented and perhaps, at the end of the day, how a regime can change. It is not a long road from the roundabout to the town hall, via the public square, which does not mean it is easy to travel. Demonstrations, popular assemblies, municipal counter-power, États Généraux or their modern equivalent, such is perhaps the squaring of the circle; it must be resolved on a daily basis and over the coming weeks, probably quite quickly, so that a political idea that everyone now needs can emerge from a revolt that no one had expected.”

Hamza Hamouchene: ‘Algeria in revolt: “We woke up and you will pay!”’

“What is happening in Algeria is truly historic. The people won the first battle in their struggle to radically overhaul the system. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, president for the past twenty years, was forced to abdicate after more than six weeks of street protests and a re-configuration of alliances within the ruling classes.

lundi matin: “The street belongs to us. The street is us.”

“The Algerian protests have swelled into a mass rebellion against against an authoritarian, rentier capitalism that seemed to have been frozen in time.”

“The gilets jaunes: A question of time”

“A reflection on the re-appropriation of time as the revolution within the yellow vests insurrection.”

Temps Critiques: “The envy of the French Revolution of the Yellow Vests”

“Spontaneously, the reference to the French Revolution constituted for the Yellow Vests the only historical reference, because only it carries the collective memory of a social and political upheaval with which they can identify.”

Enzo Traverso: “Understanding the Gilets Jaunes”

“A self-organized movement deprived of any tradition and historical memory learns from its experience and its own mistakes; it does not accept lessons from outside and has its own times of apprenticeship. Unfortunately, I am not sure they have much time.”

Étienne Chouard: “The Constituent Yellow Vests Appeal to All Humanity”

“From my point of view, Yellow Vests are doing what the whole society should do. They are the ones who start because they are the exploited, they are the ones who earn the least, who have the most difficulty in living, and the others who earn just a little more, who know well that soon they will be in the same precariousness, in my opinion, if all goes well logically, the non-Yellow Vests will soon join the Yellow Vests because they know that they are also threatened with downgrading and that these extreme difficulties in life throw Yellow Vests out of their homes and bring them outside.”

CrimethInc.: “Between the Reaction and the Referendum”

“Several questions remain. How can we make sure that the ways we participate in the yellow vest movement and others like it won’t be simply perceived as an “apolitical” expression of anger, giving nationalists a platform to take credit for our efforts? When we act to create a crisis, how do we prevent far right parties from capitalizing on it by promising a return to normal? How do we confront legalist and reactionary ideas within the movement? How should we prepare for the next round, in which we will either face a stronger repressive and authoritarian state or a massive nationalist and reactionary wave? But also—how can we reinforce our connections with everyone else in the streets and traffic circles?”

Julius Gavroche: “The gilets jaunes: Towards a permanent insurrection”

“At the very heart of anarchism is the radical and uncompromising celebration of autonomy. And what is autonomy if not the permanent possibility of refusal and insurrection, of destruction and/or creation.”