Monday 10th of August 2020

in the lazy bordel-country — according to macron-le-con....

country

We live in a world where democracy is a threat and freedom is a punishment, where you can’t tell a turd from a diamond, where 5G is trumpeted even as it threatens to kill us, where the prevailing ethos is buyer-beware and where anyone against warmongering and eternal war is smeared and painted as a monster.

Who do you believe? All the things you felt certain about Democracy, liberty, the right to free speech, television news, all these things are not only being undermined, in reality, they are being thrown in your face. Democracy in the Nazi-controlled Ukraine, moderate jihadi rebels, no democracy in Russia or Venezuela, despite the fingerprint tests on voters and the voting booth cameras, and this voice saying they’re fair elections and a dozen saying what about France isn’t that democracy and twenty other voices say they’re not and right-wing groups going off in the streets and chemicals in your food and forgetting to turn your wi-fi laden house on before you rush to another meeting or charge your phone, and, and…well…I got lost just writing it.

Keeping you busy, that’s what Neo-Liberalist empire does, and amidst it all, you’re meant to be an active citizen stuffed with social capital, capable of an opinion on any topic at the drop of the hat.

Ontological security, everybody needs it, but right now it’s in short supply especially in big metropolitan cities. No wonder people are confused and afraid, walking backwards into the future, stuck knee-deep in mud dreaming that somehow, through some miracle, everything will, “Please!”, return to normal.

So amidst this Tower of Babble, let’s resolve one conundrum for you.

Here are ten reasons the Gilets Jaunes (unlike US sponsored colour revolutions) are the real deal, by which I mean the direct expression of the people of France.

1. They don’t speak in Abstractions/idealisms: abstraction is the language of power, hierarchy and representation. Abstraction and its use in a political context are what unite all regimes be they communist, Nazi or neo-liberal.[1] The Gilets are not of this school. Their demands are simple, concrete: lower toll way charges, a ban on plastic bottles, a stop to compulsory withdrawals from personal bank accounts, an end to planned obsolescences in consumer goods just to name a few. What these demands enunciate is a world view grounded in people’s immediate lives. The Gilets Jaunes say things like:

 

I am in the mud of my life, I work 2 hours part day makes me a small salary of 240 month share with a supplement CAF!


And Macron says:

 

I have always assumed the dimension of verticality, of transcendence, but at the same time it must be anchored in full immanence, materiality.”
Macron 18/1/2019

 

2. The mainstream media blackout: It is only necessary to go onto Gilets websites to witness the violence being metered out to the yellow vests. Does any of this appear in the mainstream media? Rumour has it a D notice has been issued in Britain forbidding any positive mention of the Yellow Vests. In France, it’s the same. Huge crowds in almost every main city are barely reported, grievances are never discussed. Many colour revolutions are staged by the MSM especially for audiences in Western Europe and the ‘first world’, as the current case of Venezuela illustrates. Instead of this colour revolution simulacrum, what confronts the Gilets Jaunes is a black-out. Draw your own conclusion.

3. The Red Scarfs: in themselves they are of little import, their numbers were exaggerated and being entirely a rent a crowd they lack stamina. On a deeper level however, the appearance of the Red Scarfs represents a very dangerous game by Macron. French society has long been susceptible to right-wing movements of violence: The 6th February 1934 crisis[2] , the bloody war of the anti-Nazi resistance with Vichy militias, a conflict which many French view as a civil war[3] and finally, the OAS in the early 1960s are all examples of such maneuverers. Traces of these historical moments are present currently in the rogue cops, the ‘Spéciale Castaner’ the militia recruited by Macron to dispense their special violence towards protestors. These ‘Des flic hors-la-loi’ (rogue cops) have appeared at every recent demonstration. Again, draw your own conclusions. Their presence shows the state’s desperation, the authenticity of the Gilets and their growing social power.

4. The lack of celebrities or leaders. Even after 12 demonstrations and 3 months of agitation, there are still no spokesmen or leaders or celebrities, ‘speaking’ for the people. This by itself tells you it’s a genuine grassroots movement.

5. The manner in which the globalisers have no response but violence. What is occurring in France currently is a conflict between two world views that have nothing to say to each other. Something illustrated by the side-lining of both Maria [sic] La Pen and the official parliamentary opposition. Unlike colour revolutions, there is no clear officially endorsed alternative. No one in Washington nominated a Gilets for the presidency and if they had, no one would take any notice. Thus the ritualised nature of contemporary parliamentary politics has been starkly revealed; all the French deputies whatever their allegiance, are fully paid up globalising neo-liberals.

It is clear that Macron has no way of speaking to the Gilets. His recent declaration that he too wanted a raise in salary (note the word salary) and that made him a Gilets too, is verging, in its relation to reality, on the clinically insane. Neo-liberalism is the world view of the elite and the powerful; as some have noted it’s a class war against the poor. All they can offer the Gilets Jaunes is the same old, same old. The elite’s incomprehension and isolation from the French people are clear in every word they utter. The Power is trapped in its own symbolic universe rendering them incapable of grasping the demands of lived experience expressed by the Gilets Jaunes. In this, the Macron Government resemble the Syrian Jihadists whose demands were incomprehensible to the vast majority of the Syrian people and as such could only be implemented by violence.

6. The confusion among intellectuals. The western intellectual tradition, particularly the social disciplines, has no idea how to address the economic, political and cultural stagnation currently affecting western countries. The continued prestige of the academy is more down to habit, careerism and State support than any lived engagement. Intellectuals such as Henri Levy [BHL] have been co-opted repeatedly to provide a veil of respectability for murderous foreign adventures in Syria, Venezuela and Libya.

Simultaneously, academic opponents of these activities are being quietly silenced by purges and smears in universities in France, Australia and Britain.[4] Moreover the concentration of French ‘intellectuals’, particularly social commentators, in the Paris, mirrors exactly the centralisation of political power, indeed they are so entwined one struggles to tell them apart. This is why, like the politicians, French intellectuals are resorting to scatter-gun accusations, chosen as if from some play-book; racism, populism, fascism, anti-Semitism, Russian interference and so on. Anything in truth they can muster at short notice for a two-minute sound bite. Needless to say, the Gilets Jaunes aren’t listening.

There’s an old Sioux Lakota saying: a bird needs two wings to fly.[5] So in globalised 20th-century politics the right-wing argues for economics, the Left speak of morality and in the end we have simultaneously a compassionate-bloodthirsty-anti-racist-anti-sexist-neo-liberal-green- modern and dynamic, latest operational whatever. Articles on the Gilets from a Leftist perspective are invariably varied in prescription and analysis and equally, invariably miss the point. Something always likely when moribund ideologues and their high priest caste are confronted with lived experience.

7. The disappearance of right-wing groups from the street: it is my contention, utterly unsupported by any concrete evidence I might add, that UKIP, Tommy Robinson, the EDF in Britain as well as One Nation in Australia and even Macon himself, are all creations of, and funded by, deep-state elements among the elite. There are also question marks of this sort over Antifa. The ex-Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott admitted publicly that during his time as a Howard government minister he was literally the bag-man ferrying money back and forth to One Nation. Some of these groups listed above are violent; some are created with the intention of splitting the Labour vote. In any case, previously highly publicised right-wing groups have all but disappeared from weekly demonstrations, perhaps overwhelmed by the unfunded popular will.

8. The presence of many poor baby boomers and retirees: these sorts of people don’t usually attend demonstrations partially because they’re too busy, too old, don’t care or are driven away by the orchestrated police violence created expressly for that purpose. Yet they constitute the majority of people at the roundabouts, particularly outside Paris. Their presence tells you everything about the veracity of this movement.

9. The nightly MSM news is not crossing live to Washington for expert analysis.This is standard operational practice for colour revolutions in faraway places, mostly because the leaders of such coups often reside in DC on subsidies from the National Endowment for Democracy.[6]

10. There are neither left nor right. This is often commented on adversely as if it was a failing. Nothing answers this better than this Facebook post on a Gilets site:


Look at Jupiter’s face! He doesn’t know what to do. He tried racism, immigration, bludgeoning, thugs, injuries, police violence, prison, smoking, repression, lie and we’re still out there!!!!! So we drop nothing and keep going All together without leaving anyone on the side. It’s not easy. We’re all different with different ideas, but we have a common goal, We’re a lot then in a big family we fight but we meet every week, Saturday, Sunday, night, all when we can and forget our differences.”[7

 

Diversity is one of neo-Liberalism’s keywords, yet in thinking about such terms we should also recall Nietzsche’s axiom that things are only spoken about when they are disappearing.[8] Here, however, in the Gilets, we have an example of true diversity, different in every way from the standard Neo-Liberal usage bombarding us every day.[9]

The fundamental reason the Gilets Jaunes differs from any colour revolution or indeed any major revolution of the 20th century is precisely the manner in which this alternative diversity functions. The Gilets are making their own meanings within their own spaces of appearance: ‘where they are seen by others as others are seen by them’ (Arendt 1958). And they are making it through discussion.

Furthermore, these meanings are under their control and are held in common by the Gilets whatever their other differences. As the writer says “We’re all different with different ideas, but we have a common goal, We’re a lot then in a big family we fight but we meet every week”. This sociality creates meanings as an outcome of communal being-ness in common[10] and these meanings remain under the control of the Gilets who made them. Differences, for instance over seeking election to the EU parliament, are simply tolerated.

Diversity of response and opinion is seen as a strength, not a weakness. There is no ideological template applicable to every context.[11] Instead, as an anonymous ex-French Intel guy said last week on Le Media, one roundabout is full of young people, another full of black bloc, another full of older people and they are all talking with each other. Through this sociality and commonality, meaning is produced and then held communally because participants inside varied and infinite contexts (spaces of appearance) and repeated actions of sociality act these meanings in common. Focus is centred on their common interest i.e. the impossibility of existing in today’s France. Everything else is fluff.

Every week these participant meanings are sustained, built upon and maintained through more actions of sociality, more discussion and more actions. Communal meanings held and actioned in this way produce social power; because actioned meaning in common is precisely what social power is!

Furthermore, this unity in diversity utterly splinters all the demonizing and pathologizing names invented by the media and globalisers over the last thirty years as a means of divide and rule. These devised names applied to groups in society: work-shy; dole-bludgers; terrorists; anti-Semite; Russian Bot; racist; sexist and any of the plethora of names applied by the state and the MSM towards elements threatening the façade of Neo-Liberalism, are simply bypassed. As in many other things the Gilets simply refuse to recognise them.

I don’t know what the future holds but I do know that all these reasons taken together prove the Gilets Jaunes are the real deal for genuine change; not only in France but also in how the rest of the world conceives and practices politics itself.

NOTES:-

  • [1] For a full understanding of how the liberal state is built upon a Cartesian separation of the interior and the exterior, how mechanistic thinking dominates our politics and the dangers inherent in all of this for ourselves as social creatures constructing our own meaning through our communal sociality, see Arendt 1958 and Studdert 2016. As far as abstractions go well, ‘the march of history’; ‘the dictatorship of the proletariat’; ‘the fatherland’ and the ‘The market’, all serve to illustrate the point, for all regimes.
  • [2] Three days of street demonstration in Paris organized by multiple far-right leagues that almost toppled the government.
  • [3] I’m not the only one drawing this comparison. From a Gilet web site: “In my country France there are 387 deputies petainistes who voted the anti-thugs law. Shame on them”. Petain was of course the president of the Vichy regime.
  • [4] The on-going case of Sydney University professor Tim Anderson suspended for supporting the Syrian and Palestinian people is the latest example.
  • [5] Thanks to Jean-Michel Wizenne for this gold nugget.
  • [6] Standard operational procedure for all empires. See the history of Byzantium for example.
  • [7] This seems like a Google translation to me. I have refrained from correcting anything. Jupiter is French sarcasm for Macron!
  • [8] There’s a lot more that can be said about the fantasy of normativism and its role in ensuring conformity from politicians and modern populations at large, but this is not the place. Again I point the reader towards Arendt 1958 and Studdert Palgrave 2006 and Studdert/ Walkerdine Palgrave 2016.
  • [9] For instance this:https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/feb/08/how-baftas-are-rewarding-diversity

 

 

 

 

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2019/02/10/10-reasons-the-gilets-jaunes-are-the...

270 years — wasted...

revolution


Brigitte Bardot dons a yellow vest...

Among the few star supporters, the citizen movement can count on that of Brigitte Bardot. The former actress went to a meeting of yellow vests, expressing her emotion of being with citizens mobilized for three months.


On February 17 in the middle of the afternoon, the famous actress Brigitte Bardot went to a meeting of Yellow Vests organized in Saint-Aygulf, near Fréjus, in the Var, the day after the anniversary of the three months of mobilization.


Read also: The movement of yellow vests passes the milestone of three months with the act 14


A surprise visit during which the former actress was keen to assert her support for the citizen movement. Showing her emotion of being with citizens mobilized for three months, she said in particular: "You are great [...] Do not let anything go. I support you, thoroughly, thoroughly. "

...


"I support them because they have balls," she said, according to L'Obs [L'Observateur].

 

Read more:

https://francais.rt.com/france/59234-je-soutiens-parce-quils-ont-des-cou...

 

Translation by Jules Letambour.

 

 

Read from top.

yellow vests at the UN...

The French yellow vests went to Geneva, Switzerland, and quietly protested in front of the Palais des Nations where the UN Human Rights Council meets — to denounce the police violence they have suffered since the beginning of the movement.


It was a symbolic and powerful event: on February 20, nearly 2,500 yellow vests gathered in front of the Palais des Nations in Geneva, where meetings of the UN Human Rights Council are held, to denounce "French police violence".


"We come to pay tribute to our victims and our wounded to denounce the police violence that we have suffered since the beginning of the movement. Some people lost their eyes or had their hands torn off, serious injuries," said Nicolas Mollier, one of the organizers, on the Swiss channel RTS the day before.


The former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Switzerland's Jean Ziegler, came to support the movement and support this action.

After paying tribute to the victims, the Yellow Vests chanted their usual slogan, "Macron resignation!", Before singing a resounding Marseillaise.


Heavily supervised by the organizers, who insisted to see an "extremely peaceful and smooth" event, the rally was held for two hours in a calm atmosphere.


Independent experts from the UN have expressed concerns in mid-February about the behavior of law enforcement in France against demonstrators. This group of UN human rights experts has asked France to "rethink [its] policing policies to guarantee the exercise of freedoms".

 

Read more:

https://francais.rt.com/france/59310-macron-demission-2500-gilets-jaunes...

 

Translation by Jules Letambour

 

 

Read from top.

 

Please note that some of the Yellow Vest movement has also been infiltrated at times by "agents provocateurs" (destructors of property) employed by the government to make the movement look bad...

#ouijenevotepas...

An ad campaign launched by the French government to encourage people to register to vote has hit an embarrassing snag: Twitter won’t run the ads, as the company fears they may violate the new French law targeting fake news.

The Elysee hoped to inspire citizens to register to vote in the European elections ahead of the upcoming deadline by paying for sponsored tweets promoting the hashtag #OuiJeVote (Yes, I Vote). But the seemingly innocuous ad campaign faced an unexpected hurdle: France’s recently-passed anti-fake-news legislation, which places strict rules on online political campaigns. The law states that all political ads must indicate who paid for them and how much was spent.

Fearing that the ad may violate the law passed by President Emmanuel Macron’s own government, Twitter refused to run the ad.

The decision stunned French lawmakers and officials.

“I thought it was an April Fools!” tweeted MP Naima Moutchou.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/455476-twitter-bans-french-ad-fake-news/

 

 

Read from top.

bare cupboard if you are not a burnt-down church...

Riot police and protesters have fought running battles in the centre of Paris as gilets jaunes anti-government demonstrators in fluorescent yellow vests led street marches over what they called “a crisis” of high taxes and economic inequality.

Less than a week after the fire that destroyed the roof and spire of Notre Dame Cathedral, firefighters rushed to put out multiple small fires around the Place de la République, as motorbikes, bins, bicycles and cars were set alight on roads and pavements. Groups of masked men threw projectiles and police fired teargas. Some rioters in masks smashed the window of a sports shop and ran in to loot it, emerging with bags full of goods.

The interior minister, Christophe Castaner, said on Saturday that Paris could become “the capital of rioting”, suggesting extremist demonstrators planned to attend the street marches. Politicians from Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche party said “black bloc” masked anarchist protesters were present.

The street demonstrations had begun peacefully in Paris on Saturday morning – the latest in five months of gilets jaunes demonstrations that began as a fuel-tax revolt in November and have morphed into an anti-protest movement in response to the government’s tax and social policies.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/20/gilets-jaunes-battle-riot-...

 

 

Read from top.

shutting down the reportage of event XXIII...

 

Arrested Saturday, journalist Gaspard Glanz, specializing in the coverage of social movements, alsways has had a tense relations with the police.


The arrest of independent journalist Gaspard Glanz, in full act XXIII yellow vests, has attracted a large amount of support on social networks.

Arrested Saturday in Paris, for "participation in a group to commit violence or degrading" and "insulting persons representing public authority", he spent 48 hours in custody and will be judged on October 18 in a Paris court. Meanwhile, he has been forbidden to set foot in Paris on Saturdays until that date, as well as May 1st. This is a decision that his lawyer Raphael Kempf intends to challenge and which, according to him, "undermines the freedom of the press and that of working" of Gaspard Glanz.



Specialising in social movements


For a few years this photojournalist, head of the agency Taranis News, which he founded in 2011, has specialized in the coverage of social movements, including, in recent months, that of the yellow vests.


Diplomed with a degree in criminal sociology from the University of Rennes, he is considered "one of the leaders of the new generation of daredevil journalists who do not hesitate to go where the protesters and police officers 'confront', as described by L'Obs in 2016. This has given him "a dozen scars caused by shooting Flashball", he says. And he has already been arrested three times in the past: during the COP 21 in November 2015, during protests against the labor law in 2016, and in October of the same year during the evacuation of the Calais jungle.

Sued for defaming police with publication on Facebook of a picture of several policemen, with the inscription "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer", the Nazi slogan, he was eventually let off. He was also fined € 500 for stealing a walkie-talkie, an action he has always denied, claiming that the walkie-talkie had fallen from a policeman's pocket.


During this arrest he had also discovered that he was labeled "S" (criminal considered as an "individual likely to engage in violent actions"). His lawyers challenged this charge before the Council of State in February. But their request was rejected. As Gaspard Glanz describes himself as a "street journalist", practicing "urban journalism, for young people", who is interested "in the crowd in general: festivals, demonstrations, rallies", the Parisian police consider him a dark character, "close to the ultraleft" or "zadistes", according to Le Point.

"His highly tense relations with the police are also due to his revelations of police behaviour," adds the Libération. Though he denies any militancy and says he is "independent", he regularly denounces police brutality. He has also provided several video footage that helped compromise Alexandre Benalla. "Nothing to make him popular with the people in power," says the Libération.

 

 

Translation by Jules Letambour.

Read more:

https://www.sudouest.fr/2019/04/23/qui-est-gaspard-glanz-le-journaliste-...

not convincing...

Two days after the pronouncements of Emmanuel Macron, who have generally not convinced the French, the Yellow Vests are meeting in the streets of France for the 24th Saturday in a row




1h37 CET



Protesters begin to gather near Radio France to prepare their "march on the media." The former spokesperson of France insubordinate Raquel Garrido is present. "No to the pejorative or even insulting take against yellow vests and the people in general. Yes to PLURALISM on the air, on the guest side AND on the editorialists comments! "She tweeted on arrival. The procession should start between 12h and 13h30 and go towards TF1 [public broadcaster] before going through CNews, France Television, BFMTV and finally the CSA.

 

Read more:

https://francais.rt.com/france/61464-acte-24-apres-annonces-macron-gilet...

macron: the refined tony abbott of france...

 

by David Studdert 

The weekend just gone, Manifestation 23, marked a seismic shift in the five month battle between the Gilets Jaunes and the French state. The Notre Dame fire has brought into the open the strategic shift in public opinion that has occurred over the winter; shifts all to the advantage of the Gilets Jaunes. While the cold winter months with their looming darkness only allowed us to glimpse two equal parties grinding away at each other in the gloom, the advent of spring and its clear light, reveals how the Gilets are gathering reserves of strength all over France, and how, now, they are slowly winning in Paris as well. The sight of French police surrounding Notre Dame and denying access to its ‘own’ population, starkly illustrates what the state seeks to deny. After all, these sort of monuments are the materiality through which states demonstrates their connection to the population, their right to rule and their own power.

The Neo-liberal state is crumbling and Macron is going be the sacrificial lamb. At this stage he will be lucky to last two months. His clumsy handling of the Notre Dame blaze has outraged and enraged more sections of the French population. Indeed throughout the five months of protest, and despite the wall to wall media propaganda, opinion polls consistently show continued and unwavering sympathy and support of the Gilets Jaunes.

In the sharp light of spring it is clear that Macron’s winter strategy: the Great National Debate, has achieved nothing for the government and more tellingly perhaps, has further revealed Macron’s own incapacity to either change himself or shift course. As one anonymous French state official reportedly said: ‘Mitterrand gave them an extra week’s holiday, but Macron can’t manage anything’. He simply seems unable in any form to communicate with either the Gilets or the people of France. His constant speeches, with their casual insults and lack of empathy, remain one of the best recruitment tools the Gilets possess.

His recent pronouncements continue this trend. His promise to rebuild the cathedral in five years was met with scorn – ‘this is not a railway line’, said one commentator, while his invitation to the world (a typical empty gesture) angered and aroused traditionalists. Indeed, as has been widely reported, his endorsement of cash donations from billionaires, simply provided the Gilets with yet more free sticks to beat him and the state.

Even his big showpiece speech was cancelled when the Cathedral burst into flames. And what was his big announcement? A freeze on hospital and school closures, the index-linking of pensions to inflation and the closing of the École Nationale d’Administration (ENA), the university that produces the country’s political and civil elite, all of which, particularly the last, were seen as too late and totally irrelevant. After all it doesn’t put food on the table or help the people get to the end of the month with any money. As I noted in previous articles, this is typical of Macron, revealing only how his personal authority is slipping away, and strangely enough, how irrelevant he is becoming to the entire debate.

Above all, Macron is guilty of being one of those stupid/intelligent middle class people; the sort neo-liberalism delights in providing for us in many guises: administrators, legacy media editors, heads of departments, councillors, politicians. He is bright, he is buffed, he has aspiration, he can speak fluently on subjects for hours, yet for all of that, every speech he makes simply inflames the situation. And this, coupled with his inability to convey a shred of empathy and his apparent lack of understanding concerning both politics and national history, reveal him to be nothing so much as a messenger boy for the rich and the powerful. Once again none of this escapes the French population.

Clearly Macron much prefers international summits to meeting his own people and in truth his dreams of the future, which is all he has, are as banal as Marinetti’s.

All of this was starkly obvious in the course of the great National Debate. Billed as a listening exercise, every photo showed Macron not listening, but lecturing, while his rolled shirt sleeves made him look like a boy, inexperienced and out of his depth. The state PR is simply not working and one can’t believe that any worker in France was fooled by this nonsense.

So Macron is finished and he’ll be gone soon, but the question remains where does this revolt go from here? For the manner in which his removal occurs, how long it takes and who replaces him, will determine the next stage.

Unfortunately for the French neo-liberal state, Macron’s dismissal will not solve the problem. Firstly because, in an immediate sense, there is no alternative candidate within ruling circles acceptable to the Gilets. Secondly, because it is becoming increasingly apparent that neo-liberalism as a form of governance can only succeed in a climate of profligate personal credit, which, along with rising house prices (not counted as inflation), remains the only method available to Neo-Liberalism for generating wealth among all social classes. They simply are unwilling or unable to give anything to the people.

The dismissal of the Paris police chief and the calls by the state for the police to use greater violence and employ more weaponry, simple confirm the gridlock which has entangled the neo-liberal state and its bureaucratic class. A gridlock which not only depresses and represses the rest of us, but also, within the current ruling dogma, is impossible to transcend; violence and exclusion are all the contemporary state has left.

And what of the Gilets? Well, they are everywhere. Every week Facebook is full of online Gilet house-parties, where films, discussion and reinforcement abound. When they don’t demonstrate they talk.. Nor, despite the toil required, is there any sign the people of France are quitting the movement. My roundabout still has people each week-end, as they have been every week-end through what was a cold and desolate winter, and in this they are simply duplicating events at the other twenty or so occupied roundabouts in Gers and all through France. Recently the group at my roundabout distributed a flyer saying that they were finding it difficult to continue every weekend and could others come and assist them, something which according to locals, met with an influx of new recruits. ‘Nous le faisons pour vous’ is their standard speech as they hand out flyers to passing motorists, almost all of whom appear friendly and sympathetic; something entirely to be expected, given all of them are locals.

Some liberal commentators still persist in presenting the Gilets as supplicant Oliver Twists, begging for more from their superiors table and these same commentators love to speak of the revolt as being the periphery verses the centre. As I have made clear in my previous articles, this is the opposite of the truth.

For the Gilets are showing rising levels of political consciousness; with an apparent endless enthusiasm for debates concerning violence, socialism and their demands – debates which are still, even after five months, managed online with toleration and respect for the diversity of people’s opinions.

Additionally, from a strategic perspective the Gilets have already demonstrated their capacity to bring every major French city to a halt. Toulouse, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Lyon, have all seen large, persistent demonstrations coupled with massive arrests.

Concurrently, smaller provincial centres like Tarbes in the south west continue to host their own weekly demonstrations, something duplicated in similar centres all over France. And with that is rising, both a hatred of the police, particularly the metropolitan police, and a sense of unity and determination among the Gilets. Naturally most of this escapes the metropolitan elite and the official media, preoccupied as they are with head counts and privates on parade. Yet even in Paris, there is considerable evidence of the movement’s growing support, with people increasingly prepared both to manifest at demonstrations and to express sympathy in media interviews, phone-ins and online.

This narrows the state’s room for manoeuvre drastically. In short the invisible hand is now visible. Something clear when the government, in a brief and crude attempt, sought to blame the Gilets for the Notre Dame blaze – accusations howled down and swiftly rescinded.

Slowly, slowly this battle is developing into a life or death struggle for the neo-liberal state and we can, over the next few months, expect them to intensify their violence during demonstrations, inaugurate house arrests, seal of more railways routes and Paris monuments and ultimately intensify various false flag operations aimed at splitting the movement and fermenting inter-communal conflict.

For the Gilets, this sense they are winning will only increase their determination. If I could make a prediction this will lead ultimately to increased demonstrations, perhaps beyond the self-imposed week-end boundaries, as well as larger, longer blockades of railways and motorways. The French word for demonstration is manifestation and that is a useful word here, because in every sense and every action the Gilets are manifesting their unity, their vision for France and their commitment to that vision.

The last week has been a good week for those who believe that neo-liberalism is a con trick, incapable of providing most a reasonable life, or indeed frankly of governing an increasingly sophisticated social world and an increasingly savvy citizenry. The simplistic nostrums of neo-liberalism remain incapable of confronting the huge problems facing us as a species – a simple truth which is becoming increasingly obvious.

Finally, this week, both the Gilets Jaunes and the Extinction Rebellion in London, are revealing that, despite massive surveillance, militarized, violent policing and the state’s propaganda apparatus, contemporary populations are developing new methods and new visions capable of surmounting these obstacles and finally, after this endless decade of stagnation, moving us forward in a positive, inclusive and effective manner.

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2019/04/29/tipping-point-the-gilets-jaunes-are-...

 

Read from top.

 

Note: Tony Abbott is an idiot.

the lazy bastards actually work harder...

Emmanuel Macron has declared war against false information. His government even passed a law in December 2018 to prevent manipulation of information. However, since taking office, the President of the Republic and his ministers have accumulated many porkies. Here are one of the five biggest fake news conveyed by the executive power.

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At the conclusion of "the 26 April great debate", Emmanuel Macron said: "When I look at it, France works much less than its neighbours [...] When I compare ourselves to our neighbours, or to others OECD countries, we work less during our entire life, and we work less per year as well. All economic studies show it: the differential that we have for wealth creation, and therefore income for our fellow citizens, is linked to this amount of less work"

Nevertheless, when one looks closely at the OECD figures, the stats are different. In 2018, the average French worker worked 1,526 hours . This figure places France just behind the United Kingdom (1,538) but ahead of Austria (1,511), Sweden (1,474) and even Germany (1,356). On the other hand, when looking at productivity, France ranks ninth in the OECD at 60.21 dollars produced for an hour worked, just behind Germany (60.47) but way ahead of the average of the countries in the euro zone. (53,61).

According to the OECD therefore, nothing allows Emmanuel Macron to affirm that the French work less than their neighbours.

 

Read more:

https://francais.rt.com/france/61719-quand-executif-ment-fake-news-marqu...

 

Translation by Jules Letambour.

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The one who does not do his job is Macron...

 

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a good priest...

A lawyer for the pro-Yellow Vest priest, filmed singing anti-Macron songs following mass, has told RT he will petition the Pope if French prosecutors bring charges against the cleric for insulting the office of the president.

 

Father Michel, a popular priest in the department of Eure in Normandy was filmed leading dozens of Yellow Vest supporters in a post-service chorus of “Macron, moron” and “we’re coming to get you.”  [in French, bien sur]. Shared thousands of times, the clip prompted angry local officials to lodge a complaint against the priest. If charges are filed, he could face legal action for talking politics in a place of worship and for failing to acknowledge the most sacred of French ideals — the separation of church and state.

 

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https://www.rt.com/news/461331-macron-moron-priest-investigation/

 

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retirement decay in the french bordello...

Awaiting the president's new year wishes, the CGT has criticised the government for organising "the bordel (brothel/bordello)". Secretary of State Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari accused protesters of practicing "blockage" of union rights.


On the 25th day of a bogged-down conflict about retirement and pensions, the tone has hardened between the CGT and the government. All eyes are now turned to the speech of Emmanuel Macron Tuesday 31, as strikers and the opposition await a better initiative from Macron, the head of state.


Transport disruptions continue, in particular in Île-de-France, where a small amelioration has been announced. On Sunday, 4 TER out of ten, 6 TGV out of 10 and 1 Transilien (Parisian commuter train) out of 5 were operating.

 


"Bordello" and "decay"


While no negotiations are scheduled before January 7, Philippe Martinez, the secretary general of the CGT, in the Journal du Dimanche, accused the government of organising "the bordello" and encouraging "the decay" of a social movement, already longer than that of 1995.


"They said to themselves, 'We're going to stick to ultimatums to the workers during the Christmas holidays.' Emmanuel Macron wants to be the man of the new world, but he imitates Margaret Thatcher", Martinez barked: "Macron said that he had changed, that he was ready to listen ... Where is thus the second act of his quinquennium?".


Also in the Journal du Dimanche, the Secretary of State Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, criticised the CGT for practicing unionism "blocking" or even "intimidation" and denounced "the pressure exerted on railroad workers" to participate in the movement.


In this context, the speech of the President of the Republic, who has remained mostly silent on the conflict for weeks — leaving his Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on the front line, to defend the new "universal" system of retirement on points — is awaited.


Emmanuel Macron, then in Ivory Coast, made an unsuccessful appeal for a Christmas truce and announced that he was giving up his presidential pension before going on holidays to Fort Brégançon.


He thus spared himself fireworks, possibly making an offer on the 31st to unblock the situation — unless he opts for a showdown, at the risk of radicalising the opponents.


"There is a determination, an anger that is deep and that'll still be there in January," warned Fabien Villedieu, SUD-Rail delegate, on BFMTV.

 


Macron's greetings expected


Enduring Emmanuel Macron's silence, his troops sent contradictory messages.


The Head of State is expected on a possible adjustment of the pivotal [retirement] age, which the executive plans to introduce from 2022 and to add an extra-penalty: a "red line" for the CFDT, which request withdrawal of the proposal.


The president may also want to better explain [his] point system that confuses the French.


Putting forward the abolition of special regimes may not be enough, as the majority of French people positively supports the protest, while the government has granted [retirement] exemptions to certain professions (police, pilots, dancers of the Opera de Paris, etc.).


The left has asked Macron to withdraw the reform. The right, through the voice of the group of LR deputies to the Assembly Damien Abad, also demands "clarifications" and insists on taking into account [personal] arduousness, a lever for negotiations.


"On December 31, the president will pledge to continue his fight, stay above the fray and let his government continue its decay strategy" by the time talks resume, communications advisor Damien Albessard.

 

Read more:

https://www.sudouest.fr/2019/12/29/retraites-djebbari-denonce-un-syndica...

 

(Rough) translation by Jules Letambour

 

 

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the government made a macron "mistake" ...


The Elysee is trying to avert yet another scandal after President Macron’s party-dominated parliament rejected a plan to extend work leave for parents who had experienced the death of a child, prompting cries of “Shame!” online.

The proposal, put forward by the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI) and Agir (the Constructive Right), asked to extend the leave from five to 12 days, but was voted down by government deputies from French President Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche! (LREM) party.

Anticipating the eruption of another national controversy, France’s Labour Minister Muriel Pénicaud quickly stepped in to admit that the government made a "mistake" and promised to find a solution to the issue in the coming days. In an interview with Le Parisien on Sunday, she said the extension to 12 days will "return to the Senate in the form of a government amendment.

Minister for Relations with the Parliament Marc Fesneau (MoDem) made similar comments. "Let's admit that there was a mistake, it's not worth beating around the bush," he said. But the condemnation from opposition parties and French citizens was swift.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/479992-france-parents-leave-child-death/

 

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chloroquine in macronleon country...

The Famar factory, the only French company authorized to produce chloroquine, is currently in receivership. Unions are trying to save workers and are calling on the state to intervene to deal with the Covid-19.

At a time when chloroquine is raising hopes around the world, the only French company authorized to produce the drug is in receivership. The Famar factory in Saint-Genis-Laval (Rhône) is the only site able to produce the chloroquine sold on the French market under the name Nivaquine by Sanofi, a drug usually used against malaria.

The Saint-Genis-Laval site did not find a buyer.

Today, the unions are trying to save the 250 employees of the company threatened with closure. Of the 12 sites of the pharmaceutical group sold by the American investment fund KKR, only the Saint-Genis-Laval site did not find a buyer. The employees then appeal to the State to maintain the activity of the site during this period of crisis.

It seems to me that it would be normal for the State to be able to take control in order to maintain production "It seems to me that it would be normal for the State to be able to take control in order to maintain production and supply the market for be able to stem the health risk that we know if, indeed, nivaquine can be used in treatments against Covid-19 ", indicates Yannig Donius CGT FAMAR Lyon delegate.

For the moment, the Ministry of Economy has not retained the possibility of taking over the Saint-Genis-Laval site. The government authorizes hydroxychloroquine to treat patients affected by Covid-19 Chloroquine should also not be confused with its derivative, hydroxychloroquine, which was put forward by Professor Didier Raoult who heads the Institut hospital- university in infectious diseases of Marseille. It is sold under the name of Plaquenil and prescribed for the treatment of lupus. It will be part of an Inserm clinical trial to test existing drugs against Covid-19.

Proof of the hopes it raises, the government authorized by decree, the prescription of hydroxychloroquine to patients affected by Covid-19. A victory for Professor Didier Raoult who thanked the Minister of Health.

 

Find out more about RT France: https://francais.rt.com/economie/73190-usine-famar-le-seul-fabricant-chl...

 

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casse-tête castex...

castex

Jean Castex’s first three errors

by Thierry Meyssan

Without a doubt, Jean Castex is a brilliant senior civil servant. But that does not make him the right man to become Prime Minister of France. He has not thought about how to restore the social pact in the face of financial globalisation and is satisfied with measures to buy social peace in the short term. As soon as he was appointed, he showed that he did not want to reform the political class, that he was content to fight the pandemic by doing as others did, and that he supported the Maastrichian project conceived during the Cold War.

The French administration works very well on its own. In this sense, it is one of the best in the world. The role of ministers is not to take the place of the directors of central administration who keep the machine running. On the contrary, it is to adapt the administration to the changes in the world; to steer it in the direction imagined by the President of the Republic and approved by the citizens at the time of his election.

The President of the Republic cannot have an opinion on everything. But he must think about Foreign Affairs and Defence, Police and Justice, Money and Taxes. These are the so-called regalian functions. At the moment, they must rethink this whole system in order to re-establish the social contract in the face of a profound change in the structures of society.

Inequalities in wealth have increased considerably. In recent years, the middle classes have melted like snow in the sun and a new social class has emerged, which has appeared in full view of everyone at the Yellow Vests demonstrations. The richest man in the country has a fortune equal to what a minimum wage earner cannot earn grossly in a million and a half years. This astronomical gap returns the country to a medieval organization and makes it impossible for democracy to function.

Since President Jacques Chirac’s stroke on September 2, 2005, there has been no pilot in the plane. In the three presidential elections of 2007, 2012 and 2017, none of the elected candidates presented a vision of the country, just sectoral measures. Deprived of a president worthy of the name, France has therefore been adrift for 15 years.

The new French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, is a very high-ranking civil servant whose efficiency and attention to others is praised by everyone. But he is not a politician capable of setting new objectives and rethinking the architecture of the system.

His chief of staff, Nicolas Revel, is a ferocious Atlanticist. He is the son of academician Jean-François Revel and journalist Claude Sarraute. The former was the principal agent of the National Endowment for Democracy in France. The second was a columnist for Le Monde. With humor, she applied herself to ridiculing the workers’ unions and valorizing societal struggles.

The record of Jean Castex’s early days at Matignon is disastrous. In this article, I will point out his first three decisions in terms of government organization, response to the pandemic and European policy.

1- The reform of ministerial cabinets

As soon as his government was appointed, the new Prime Minister reformed the restrictive rule imposed by his predecessor on the composition of ministerial cabinets. He increased the number of political staff from 10 to 15. Indeed, the ministers in Édouard Philippe’s governments complained that they did not have a team large enough to control the central administrations. What was the use of their 10 collaborators? To respond to the public and to improve their image.

Admittedly, ministers are not elected and are therefore accountable only to the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic, not directly to the voters. But since everyone thinks first of his or her career and then of his or her function, 10 public relations assistants are not too many.

Under these conditions, it was not necessary to create 5 additional posts for each minister, but to ensure that the staff hired was in the interest of the government, not the minister’s future. Indeed, without prejudging what each will do, it is obvious that Jean Castex does not want the advisers to interfere with the administration, but to inform the ministers on the technical aspects of the files. It is only a small step forward that will not solve the problem.

2- Mandatory masks

Just before being appointed Prime Minister, Jean Castex was charged with a mission on ending lockdown after the Covid-19 epidemic. He is therefore supposed to have thought about the prevention of this disease.

While the previous government had declared that masks were of little use, Jean Castex made them compulsory. Public opinion misinterpreted this change in policy in terms of the availability of these masks: when there were none, they were useless; when they were there, they became mandatory.

In reality, eight months after the start of the global epidemic, we still do not know how this virus is transmitted and therefore how its spread can be prevented. The difference in the instructions is not due to the availability of the masks, but to the willingness of the new government to show that it is taking matters into its own hands. This is not a medical measure, but a way to reassure oneself.

Remember, when the virus arrived in the West, all the authorities said that it was spread by contact via solid surfaces. There was hysteria in Europe about door handles. Touching a doorknob and putting your hand to your face was enough to risk immediate death.

It had been discovered that the virus could survive a few hours on doorknobs and even two days on cardboard. The conclusion was that letters and packages should be stored for 48 hours before being opened. Today, these instructions seem silly and no one follows them. However, scientifically speaking, nothing has changed. We know no more about the modes of contamination today than we did yesterday. We have only noticed that there seems to be no transmission via solid surfaces. It is therefore "believed" to be transmitted directly through some mysterious human liquids. The commonly accepted "opinion" is that the disease is transmitted through respiratory droplets. It is therefore advisable to wear a mask. But this belief is no more certain than the previous one.

I remember that the same was true during the AIDS epidemic. The retrovirus had been identified in blood and semen. It was concluded that it could be transmitted by mosquitoes and fellatio. For three years, health authorities in many countries increased prevention messages to that effect. Today, we know that they were wrong. AIDS is not transmitted by mosquitoes or fellatio.

The mistake is to believe that it is enough to catch a virus to get sick. The human body is designed to live with many viruses. Most of the time, it knows how to protect itself from them. Covid-19 is a respiratory disease. It is therefore transmitted like other respiratory diseases: through the air. If this is the case, the only useful masks must be airtight, like gas masks used by armies or P4 laboratories. Surgical masks, on the other hand, are false protection because they do not adhere to the skin and allow air to pass through in many places.

In the case where Covid-19 is transmitted like all other respiratory diseases - which is a priori the most probable hypothesis - the prevention must be to ventilate closed spaces. This is what the WHO declared at the beginning of the pandemic.

However, another problem arises. In recent years, air conditioning systems have been installed in many buildings. If the air-conditioned air absorbs vapours from contaminated water, all other people breathing in the air may be contaminated. The outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease (a serious bacterial infection of the lungs) at the 1976 American Legion Convention in Philadelphia is remembered. The same disease was similarly transmitted in 2000 to patients at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris, shortly after it opened. The entire air-conditioning system in this gigantic, brand new hospital had to be overhauled.

A distinction must be made between air-conditioning systems that expel air outside and those that operate in a closed circuit, possibly spreading the disease throughout the establishment. Contamination in the slaughterhouses, which are closed-circuit, low-temperature air-conditioned areas, suggests that this hypothesis should be taken very seriously.

To consider this hypothesis is to consider admitting that many modern buildings need to be rehabilitated, as was done with the Pompidou Hospital. These are substantial budgets comparable to those spent on asbestos removal from buildings.

For a senior civil servant, it is better to ignore this issue. Do not change anything, act like other States and make it compulsory to wear a mask.

3- The Hamiltonian Moment

The Franco-German project of Chancellor Helmut Köhl and President François Mitterrand was conceived during the Cold War. It was set out in the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and continues inexorably. The strategic objective is to build a supra-state structure capable of neutralising the divergence of interests between the two countries and of competing economically with the United States, Russia and China. Inexorably, the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place one by one, as was the case with the Constitutional Treaty.

Given the opposition of many European peoples to this construction under US control, the current steps are difficult to take, but the Covid-19 outbreak allows the German and French leaders to act in health panic. This is the Hamiltonian moment, in reference to the way Alexander Hamilton turned his country from a system of cooperation between independent states to a Federation. During the period 1789-95, when he was the 1st Secretary of the United States Treasury, he had the debts incurred by the member states during the War of Independence taken over by the federal government, creating their dependence. However, it was not until seventy years later, when the southern states refused the single customs duties that the federal government tried to impose on them in the interests of the northern states, that federalism proved to be a straitjacket, leading to the Civil War.

Following one of the longest summits of EU Heads of State and Government, a EUR 750 billion plan was adopted by the European Council to facilitate post-Covid economic recovery. It will not be financed by a devaluation of the euro, as only 19 out of 27 Member States are members, but by 30-year loans. It should therefore be, if not impossible, at least very difficult to organise exits from the Union along the lines of the United Kingdom over the next 30 years.

Initially, when companies receive European grants or loans, everyone will be delighted. But when things get better and we see that we have been alienated for 30 years, the revolt will rumble.

This plan is presented as an emergency measure in the face of a terrible crisis. It is merely a communication package, as evidenced by the fact that, once adopted by the Council of Heads of State and Government, it has been sent back to the European Parliament and the national parliaments, which will not take a decision for months. Throughout this period the so-called "emergency" aid will be blocked.

The plan is accompanied by a new EU budget for the next seven years. It reveals the true nature of this union: for example, while the new "European Defence" was being communicated, its defence budget is being halved without explanation.

It is this sleight of hand that Jean Castex has just endorsed, putting the dream of power of Kohl and Mitterrand, then Merkel and Macron, before the will of independence of the peoples. It is a choice of extreme gravity that has already been shattered on the two occasions when France alone, and then Germany alone, attempted it with Napoleon and Hitler. In the current version, the Heads of State of the two countries agree among themselves, but probably not their peoples, and even less so those of the other countries concerned.

Emmanuel Macron and Jean Castex have agreed instead of the French to chain the country to the EU for 30 years in order to recover EUR 40 billion. But for what purpose? To reform the way work is paid and to bridge the social gap between the ultra-rich and the rest? To compensate the French people whose work has been destroyed by imposed confinement? Or to save time while preserving social peace? Unfortunately, these two men do not want to change anything and this money will be spent at a complete loss.

Thierry Meyssan
Translation 
Roger Lagassé


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