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ARTICLES, WORLD

Yellow Jackets hit the streets of Paris

Manifestation du mouvement des gilets jaunes, à Belfort, le 29 décembre 2018.

A Yellow Jacket protest

The French Yellow Vests (Mouvement des gilets jaunes) will be on the streets in Paris this Saturday. They will be marking the end of Macron’s fake “great debate” which they call the “big blah blah”. Saturday will also be a celebration of four months since the beginning of the movement.

And what a four months it has been! The movement that began over the price of fuel has mobilised many to challenge the government and its neo-liberal austerity poliicies.

The Yellow Vests have called for the reintroduction of the solidarity tax on wealth, a minimum wage increase, the implementation of Citizens’ initiative referendums and Emmanuel Macron’s resignation as President of France and his government.

The Yellow Vests have forced Macron into concessions and pressured union leaders to show some support for a movement they initially spurned.

A national strike, called by four big union groupings and the student and school students’ unions, is set for next Tuesday.

The Yellow Vests have stood firm in their beliefs and kept going on to the streets despite police harassment and violence.

Since the beginning of the Yellow Vests movement, police and other state forces have fired 13,095 LBD rubber bullet and “flashball” shots. This was the official tally last week from Laurent Nunez, secretary of state at the ministry of the interior.

According to figures compiled by journalist Philippe Dufresne, police assaults have caused at least 202 head injuries, blinded 21 people in one eye and torn five hands apart. The large majority of these mutilations were caused by LBD shots.

Even a report from The Council of the Europe has condemned the police use of LBDs. And the United Nations human rights chief called last week for a “full investigation” into the possible excessive use of force by French police.

We at Third Way want to see Macron brought down and the Yellow Vests victorious. We salute their courage and determination in the face of State harassment, violence and persecution. We welcome the fact that the French unions are now on board. Macrons bankers and austerity agenda is an attack on all French working people and it must be defeated.

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