There is really no way to bring the yellow jackets back into the fold. After Macron’s small meeting to sell his (electoral) program, his partisans attempted a “red scarf” operation, demonstrating and chanting pro-police slogans, to re-establish “republican order.” Not enough to change the situation. In the meantime, Macron was talking about weapons sales in Egypt with dictator al-Sisi. That’s quite a program! And there is also the “great debate,” to which Macron has invited mayors, left and right wing politicians such as Wauquiez, but not the yellow jackets, who were kept at good distance from the meetings by the police. They were not fooled by this manoeuvre.
The yellow jackets are not giving up
The yellow jackets movement is holding up and has even become part of the Saturday landscape, since the government refuses to meet the yellow jackets demands. While yellow jackets fight the high costs of living, low wages and daily hassles, Macron and his Prime Minister Edouard Philippe ridicule themselves by proposing to amend the new 80 km/hr speed limit as a way to end the “debate” …
But the yellow jackets are fighting for their future, to live not survive. Tens of thousands of people are determined to face off the government by protesting every weekend. And according to polls, a majority of the people support the fight of the yellow jackets even though they haven’t made it to the streets.
To try and weaken the movement, the government attempts to scare people off by having the police shoot flash-balls at demonstrators, with many serious injuries as a consequence.
But despite the intimidation manoeuvres, the “anti-violence” law to restrict our freedom to demonstrate, the standoff with Macron continues.
During the 26-27th January weekend, in the north-eastern town of Commercy, yellow jackets from a hundred of cities gathered into an “assembly of assemblies” for a debate about their demands and future prospects. More of this should follow. Especially since this initiative reflects the call to spread the movement to workplaces, starting the first week of February.
Let’s prepare for February 5th in the workplaces.
The CGT and Solidaires unions are calling for a strike and a demonstration on February 5th. A few groups of yellow jackets have answered the call and put forward the strike, and, perhaps, an unlimited strike. So after Act 12 next Saturday there will be an Act 12 bis the following Tuesday.
This strike day is an opportunity to launch the yellow jackets fight into the workplace
Since the beginning, some workers and a few union militants have been looking for a way to join the movement, as they feel solidarity with the yellow jackets’ resolve and their demands. On the other side, those who are used to go to roundabouts or demonstrate on Saturdays could also wear their yellow jacket during the week, with their colleagues.
For an increase in wages and for all the demands of the working class, extending the movement to a strike will increase the pressure on the bosses, who get rich from our work.
To make February 5th a success and finally be on the offensive, we will have to organise this mobilisation from the rank and file. The yellow jackets never waited for a call from above to start their movement. Their resolve led to government panic. This is the right time, with them, all together, to make big business really fear us.