Tag Archives: France

Andrew W.M. Smith: “The Gilets Jaunes Protest: A Grand Refusal in an Age of Commuter Democracy”

‘Commentary on French protests, both in France and especially outside it, quickly become a search for historical comparisons, feeding a narrative of repetitive crises which satisfies some broad cultural assumption about “Frenchness.”’

Jerome Roos: “The Gilets Jaunes have blown up the old political categories”

“While the yellow vest movement — if it can even be properly defined as such — remains inchoate and contradictory in terms of its social composition and ideological orientation, there is little doubt that it has opened up a major fissure in French politics. The neoliberal center finds itself under siege, and the political establishment appears to be at a loss on how to respond.”

“Call from the Yellow Vests of Commercy to set up popular assemblies”

‘Here in Commercy, in the Meuse, we have been operating from the beginning with daily popular assemblies, where each person participates equally. We organized to block entrances to the city and service stations, and filtering road blocks. In the process, we built a cabin in the central square. We meet there every day to organize ourselves, decide next actions, interact with people, and welcome those who join the movement. We also organize “solidarity soups” to live beautiful moments  together and get to know each other. In equality.’

Antonio Negri: “French Insurrection”

“how can a multitude, characterised within insurrectionist movements, be diverted from moving rightward and transformed into a class, into a force with the power to transform social relations? My first reflection is this: if it is not transformed into an organisation, a multitude of this kind is neutralised by the political system, it becomes impotent.”

Lundimatin: “Contribution to the Rupture in Progress”

“After the collapse of the Social Democrats signified in France by Macron’s election, we see the collapse of the communists, the (in)soumis, the leftists, anarchists, members of the “ultra-left,” and other class struggle professionals or spokespeople of radical chic: and a majority of them, after sneering or holding their noses, are running at full speed after the movement with their factions, unions, parties, media coverage, and blog posts. Welcome to the rearguard!”

Chantal Mouffe interviewed on “The ‘gilets jaunes’: ‘A reaction to the explosion of inequalities between the super-rich and the middle classes’”

“The fuzzy and horizontal nature of the movement, with Macron as its only enemy, recalls the origins of the Five Stars Movement. Like the Italian example, it is neither right nor left, and is currently taking a heterogeneous and anti-political form. It is a rejection of everything to do with political parties and representing the establishment. If the gilets jaunes movement does not find an institutional political form, it may quite possibly take a dangerous turn. That’s what happened with Five Stars. Since joining the government, the movement has adopted a right-wing stance. This is an issue that will confront the gilets jaunes movement if it continues.”

Édouard Louis: “Can the Yellow Vests Speak?”

“This movement must continue, for it embodies something right, urgent, and profoundly radical, because faces and voices that are usually reduced to invisibility are finally visible and audible.”

Lundi: ‘France on the brink: “Either we topple the system or it will crush us”’

“The question is therefore: what does it actually mean to bring down the system? It is clear that it doesn’t mean electing new representatives because the failure of the current régime is also the failure of the system of representation. Bringing down the system means taking over locally, community by community, the entire physical and symbolic organisation of life, for it is precisely the current organisation of life that is in question, that is itself the catastrophe.”

Aurélie Dianara: “We’re with the Rebels”

“This is, indeed, a composite, embryonic movement with many faces: men and women, employees, precarious workers, those on unemployment benefits, the economically inactive, retirees, teachers, businessmen, and workers. Some party members and trade unionists are there, too, mixed in among the mass. They come from both right and left. But they do have one point in common: this is the France that struggles to make it to the end of the month. Simply put, a movement of the people.”

Carbure: “Insurrection in the end times: The gilets jaunes”

“But no one can say in which direction this is going, this thing running faster than the whole world: there is no better mark of revolutionary content than this. This movement, because it is a class struggle, bears all that can be today a communist revolution, including its limits, its dangers and its unpredictability: but to reach that point, it will probably be necessary to burn a great deal of these things that stand between us, whether its cars or social relations.”