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Discussion in 'Personal' started by Vince_Ulam, Apr 19, 2018.
That's nice. This thread is about France.
I didn't realise you were in charge of thread content now.
I can post what I like as long as it doesn't break T&Cs.
And my comment was in response to others .
As you know.
So the protests didn't interrupt your city break so no worries?
Riiight... that's nice.
Well, the protests didn't put me off going. I didnt want to hurt the economy of France even more by not going because of the locals worries about their price of diesel, parking charges or poverty in the banlieus. So, no when I booked on the eurostar I wasnt at all really worried about the concerns the French people have with their government. I can understand people not going to Dubai because of its human rights record, but does anyone really consider the grievances of the local people when you make choices about where to go for a European city break?
My sister is going to Barcelona for a weekend in two weeks time, she should really be researching the pros and cons of Catalan independence before she goes?
Burajda is essentially right here, it has hugely died down since November/ December 2018, the first month of the movement and the only time really when this movement meant something (before being hijacked by professional agitators and violent nutters who never miss an oppo to create havoc, particularly in Paris and before turning into a pure "anti-Macron" protest with few meaningful amnd realistic measures to put forward), and the very sporadic violent bouts of protest were very localised on Saturday, as they had been from mid-December 2018, where on average about 40 or 50,000 demonstrated every Saturday until April-May throughout the whole country, I mean, it's very low. It's bigged up by the media because that's their stock-in-trade and because there were some violence too, and it's obviously bigged up by the anti-Macrons, but it really is insignificant in terms of numbers.
On Saturday, 28,000 people demonstrated in the whole of France, of whom about 5,000 were in Paris. That's hardly a mass protest, is it? A year ago on the equivalent Saturday, 282,000 people had marched across the country.
These are the official figures given by the Interior Ministry so they are no doubt lower than the real numbers but not that lower. The independent company Occurence, which specialises in counting demonstrators, has counted 40,000 and even the Gilets Jaunes themselves have 39,530 as their (estimated) figure, here:
Les manifestations pour le premier anniversaire des «gilets jaunes» ont rassemblé samedi 28.000 personnes dans toute la France, dont 4.700 à Paris, selon un décompte du ministère de l'Intérieur.
La dernière participation équivalente dans toute la France lors d'un samedi de manifestations des «gilets jaunes» remonte au 9 mars, avec 28.600 personnes, selon l'Intérieur. Ces chiffres sont régulièrement contestés par le mouvement, qui a estimé la participation de samedi à 39.530 personnes en France, selon le décompte du «Nombre jaune».
I've written quite a bit on this here so I won't rewrite basically what I did 6 months or so ago but the big turning point, when the movement stopped being a mass protest movement backed or thereabouts by a majority of the population (as, obviously, among the dozens of reasons put forward by the Gilets Jaunes for protesting, there will always be a couple that pretty much everybody agrees with, at least to a degree), after the very violent Saturday Dec. 1st and Dec. 8th demonstrations, and again one particularly violent weekend in March in Paris (in those 3 weekends: hundreds of cars burned altogether, dozens of shops ransacked, a few posh restaurants too, two dozens of buildings set ablaze - it is a miracle that no-one was killed, one woman was trapped with a baby above a Parisian bank that some "Gilets Jaunes" has set on fire, see clip, over €300 million of damages done - estimation by insurance companies, likely to be higher - etc.).
People started to be far less sympathetic after December due to the violence and so on, and also due to the fact that Macron put together a €17 billion emergency package to help minimum & low wagers and announced it officially on Dec. 10th last year and to be phased in from Jan. 1st 2019 (I remember giving most of the details of this package on here. The main one was the generalisation of a monthly €100 bonus for minimum wages and low wagers, bringing the monthly minimum wage to just over €19,000 a year, for 35 hrs/week. Overtime was also made to be exempt of taxes social charges, so no tax on overtime hours, and also was "unlinked" to benefits, so workers would not be penalised for doing overtime as they were up to then, i.e if they went over an income threshold they stopped getting some benefits. Also, the planned increase of a social tax called the CSG, created in 1990, was scrapped for pensioners earning less than €2,000 a month - that little increase would have brought them in line with what ordinary workers pay, it wasn't an extra tax as such, but Macron was right to scrap it. Employers were "strongly advised" - Macron and his people convened emergency meetings with over 300 CEOs - the largest and most profitable companies basically, Total, AXA, the big banks etc. - to give a tax-free bonus at the end of each year to employees earning less than €4,000 a month, on top of whatever bonus or intéressement arrangement - incentive payments - was in place in said companies, but all employers were urged to give more bonuses. It has to be said though that it was presented to them as a trade-off for the government's yearly generous CICE payments to companies - €45 billion given each year to companies, to boost employment and competitiveness, that's a Hollande measure that Macron has continued. Therefore any big companies played ball and gave on average €1,000, some over €3,000, such as Peugeot this year, the PSA car manufacturer is doing well so it's only logical that it should crank up the bonuses. Smaller companies have had more of a problem with that measure, but it's not compulsory so they did what they could).
But yeah, as per usual with this sort of high profile protest, on Saturday for the anniversary of the movement a few hundred ultras and radicals (a mixture of ultra-radicalised Gilets Jaunes, a few violent anarchists, black blocks and far leftwing & far right cranks) wanted to have it out with the police and did so, particularly in Paris where it was very localised, mainly to the Place d'Italie area in the south-east corner of the capital (so, miles away from any touristic area) and Les Halles neighbourhood in hyper-central Paris (a far more touristic shopping area obvs) where in both locations the anti-capitalist ultras, and a few very disgruntled "ordinary" Gilets Jaunes probably, ransacked banks and a few shops in the local shopping centres, respectively namely the Italie 2 shopping centre and the large Forum des Halles, and attacked the police (burned a few cars, cornered a few cops in a launderette etc.), played hide and seek with the CRS and created general mayhem for 2-3 hours.
Also in Nantes, where there were only 1,000 protesters gathered but regrettably a few hundred Black Blocs and anarchists among them (as it's been the case in that city for nearly 10 years now with the nearby Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport "ZAD protest zone" having attracted all sorts of violent nutters from all over France and beyond - the huge 4,000-acre "ZAD", Zone à Défendre, was Europe's largest political squat for years but was dismantled 18 months ago after the government - who, at a last resort, was called on to decide after 50 years of controversy, dithering, fighting, protest, illegal occupation of sites by squatters, legal appeals, local referenda etc. - ditched the second Nantes airport project, but a small hardcore of nutters are still around and they like to use Nantes city centre as a battle ground with the police whenever they can, the Gilets Jaunes protest has been a godsend for them. I hasten to add that there were many decent, pacific "ZADists" - people who occupied the Notre-Dame-des-Landes area but sadly there were also some very violent elements among them, this Guardian article depicts the situation quite well there, https://www.theguardian.com/inequal...nti-airport-community-faces-bitter-last-stand).
Who or what are 'black blocs'?
By the way thank you. I am learning a lot more of the French way of life lol.
A modern reference I'm aware of is an Antifa tactic... a large 'block' of members, dressed in black... rather intimidating I understand.
So pretend ninjas then?
This article sums it up olds:
Yellow vests, Black Blocs, casseurs: what's the difference? Euronews explains
Thank you.A sensible article.
That's democracy for you. NI is free opt for independence if it dislikes the present arrangement.
That's the metros for you.
The Paris metro functioned perfectly while I was there.
Saw or did anything nice there in Paris burajda?
Anyway, they (the Gilets Jaunes) have set up some impressive camps on roundabouts (where the movement started from), and exactly a year after the movement started apparently about 30 of them are still active and occupied most days. You have to hand it to the rural core of the movement (very different from the anarchists, Black Blocs and casseurs of all hues who like to ransack the banks and fight the police in big cities - Paris, Toulouse, Nantes, Montpellier and Bordeaux mainly), they are resilient.
This roundabout for instance, 15 miles south of Lyon, takes the biscuit, it’s like a village, there’s even a children’s play area!
This one below near Grenoble has been going on for a whole year too:
The big "Rond-point des Vaches" (Cows’ roundabout, photo below) near Rouen is also a Yellow Vest bastion. According to this Le Monde article the number of occupiers has seriously dwindled (from 800 - a year ago - to 80 today, they take in turns to occupy the roundabout almost permanently, give leaflets to motorists, talk to people etc.) but nonetheless it's quite a feat.
You can see why it’s been nicknamed “Notre-Dame-des-Palettes”! (Our Lady of the Pallets)
Marginally better than the underground.
Meanwhile in France
A “leaving” part
Macron had to leave the theatre in a hurry
But now they have been on strike for 44 days running a 50% service