The yellow jackets have warmed up the general atmosphere. That’s why February 5th was such a success, organised by several union confederations, and which a large number of yellow jackets have joined. Many were on their first strike, employees of micro-sized companies, non-profit organisations, or domestic assistance. This successful action day is a first step toward extending the yellow jackets movement to the workplace, and the necessary transition to striking. This should encourage union reps and workers to build the mobilisation from the rank and file, like the yellow jackets did, to make sure the strike is controlled by the strikers themselves, which is the way to ensure its success.
Macron = repression
Last Saturday, act 12 of the yellow jackets protest, thirty people were wounded, by rubber bullets causing loss of eye and fractured jaws, or by grenades amputating limbs. What a contrast with the “great debate,” a very polite event with people wearing costumes and three-colour sashes. In the streets, unemployed, students, workers in large and small companies, and retired: workers, from our class. In the salons, bigwigs and politicians, small and big, who hope to smother the movement with their idle words.
Their tricks are not working, demonstrations keep going
Macron is trying new tricks to stop the movement: why not a referendum? With poisonous questions such as “would you like a fairer pension system?” which aim at making us accept his long-planned backward reforms. This electoral bone might please the parliamentary opposition on the left, the right, or the far-right, but won’t fool the demonstrators, nor the people who support them.
At the same time, the government steps up the repression: Castaner sends his cops and all but promises total impunity to them; Belloubet, the Justice minister, ask judges to apply maximal sentences; the House votes the “anti-violence” law, in fact an anti-demonstration law, as proposed by the conservatives.
The yellow counter-power will last
This counter power, which is about to spread to workplaces, looks like it will last and boldly stand up to the power of the rich. It has already ridiculed Macron and exposed his Majesty’s opposition.
It made millions of people aware that hidden behind the ridiculous puppets are big businesses, the bosses who lay off and exploit, who pay no taxes and fill their pocket with public subsidies, while public services are crumbling. It showed the human cost of maintaining the unequal social order, whose only supports are rubber balls and grenades. By setting off a great debate that, everyone knows, will resolve nothing, the movement demonstrated the powerlessness of the institutions of the republic made for the rich.
Let’s continue to take to the street every Saturday, starting February 9th.
“Emmanuel Macron, we’re coming to get you” shout the demonstrators. Let’s also go and get the small minority of those who profit from his policy: CEOs like Carlos Ghosn, stockholders whose dividends keep breaking record values, overpaid bullying managers, real estate moguls and their entourage of mafia-like footpads like Benalla.