Tag: anti macron protests

What Americans Should Learn From the Yellow Vests

Josh Hughes | United States

Over the past few days, many French citizens have staged a countrywide protest over the heightened taxes that plague many of the country’s poor, as well as the national government’s disinterest in the lower and middle class. Over the course of three weeks, they have gotten the new gas tax suspended and have captured the attention of not only their own leaders and countrymen but of the world. That’s right: the movement has gone international, earning the name “European Spring”.

The protest has reached the ears and hearts of libertarians around the world. As of now, the future of the movement is uncertain, but their actions, solidarity, and results have been impressive, to say the least. If Americans were to follow their lead (just as the French followed the American Revolution with one of their own), many productive changes could occur.

Starting Like the Yellow Vests

One of the perks of the French protest is there were hundreds of thousands of reformists in one area with one common goal: to be seen and heard. The liberty movement in America is a mess with no clear goals or direction.

The Libertarian Party, from the local chapters up to the national organization, need to unite under one banner: change. Whether the change is social or fiscal does not matter; what’s important is that all levels are consistent. A federal legalization of marijuana, prison reform, and lowering of taxes are many popular places to begin, however.

How to Make the State Listen

The Yellow Vests found a great way for those in power to listen: refusal to be ignored. While the destruction of the property of others isn’t ideal (nor in line with libertarian beliefs), marching in large numbers is a good start. Marches on Washington and other state capitals demanding prison reform or drug legalization could do a lot in terms of encouraging change in America.

One major weakness among Americans is their lack of involvement in politics. Many that are knowledgeable neglect to put hands-on effort into the movement. Beginning the protests is the hardest part. Once there is momentum, more people will join in.

Why We Must Strike Now

The Yellow Vests have inspired a resistance in the world, against tyranny and oppression. Now is the time to take action. Now is the time for those who think they can extort us to hear our voices. The country and the world are moving towards authoritarianism at an alarming rate. If we cannot completely stop the government, it is the duty of the people to contain it. This occurs by holding them accountable and making sure they hear the voice of the people.

When all that’s in the media and culture is socialism or neoconservatism, that’s what we get. Libertarians, minarchists, anarcho-capitalists, and all those involved in the liberty movement need to be a part of this. In order to have results, there must be solidarity and unity.

If the people of the United States don’t make changes soon, the country is destined to fall even deeper into authoritarian tyranny. The Yellow Vests are leading the way by standing up for their individual needs and rights, refusing to let the government take advantage of them. It’s in the best interest of all liberty-loving Americans to fight for their rights. Do something today. Make a difference for good.


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Poll: 72% of the French Support “Les Gilets Jaunes”

By Ryan Lau and Mason Mohon | @agorisms  @mohonofficial

After recent spikes in gas taxes, the French have taken to the streets. A protest on Sunday in Paris resulted in considerable property damage, 133 injuries, and over 400 arrests. This was the result of “Les Gilets Jaunes” (The Yellow Vests) movement – anti-tax protestors upset that the new year will add another 12 cents to the gas tax.

NBC reports:

Around 280,000 protested in the streets across the country that day, with 106,000 people attending rallies on Saturday, according to French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.

A Hurried Shift in Approval

The movement is big, with 72% of French citizens polled supporting them, according to a Harris Interactive poll. This dwarfs Macron’s approval rating of 26%. These support demographics have changed greatly over the past year. In May of 2017, Macron won two-thirds of French votes in a run-off election against far-right opponent Marine Le Pen. In that race, he secured a majority in 94 out of 96 French Departments.

But in just 18 short months, everything has changed. Macron’s approval has dropped steadily, now nearing the levels of the previous president, widely unpopular François Hollande, who left office with 21% approval. Several factors play into this drastic decline.

Last summer, a crisis broke about Macron’s deputy chief of staff, Alexandre Benalla. According to a video from Le Monde, Benalla took a riot helmet, impersonated a police officer, and proceeded to beat up two May Day protestors. Even after the story went public, however, the man only received a two-week suspension. Macron later took responsibility for the incident and then fired Benalla on semi-related terms. But, the deed was done, and his favorability reacted accordingly.

Criticism Left and Right

Moreover, many French citizens are at odds with some of his economic policies. In September, the president told an unemployed man that he could easily get a job if he wanted. Not long after, many denounced his economic practices as only benefitting the rich. Also, he has received backlash from the left for plans to cut social spending.

On the other hand, the right has also given him considerable disapproval as well. In an article by The Guardian, several Gilets Jaunes spoke out about their protests. One stated that of €40,000 that an aunt had left behind after passing, the French state took 60% of it. Several others mentioned the steadily increasing gas tax as a means of harming the working class. One even went so far as to call his support for ecology “a pretext to make us pay more tax”.

The European Spring

Les Gilet Jaunes are leading the European Spring, some of the most widespread riots France has seen in years. After the first, many more followed, until protestors spanned the entire country. These protests together bear striking similarities to the Arab Spring of 2010. Both began in one, relatively small location, but spread internationally. The Arab Spring, over time, led to serious reforms among several Arab nations, including Egypt and Tunisia.

The European Spring, after small beginnings in Paris, has now expanded internationally. In just one short week, protests have erupted in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Bulgaria, and the Italian border. Of course, this movement is still in its infancy, and thus, considerable change has not yet occurred. It also appears to be without a leader, which may make it more difficult for Les Gilets Jaunes to see their change come into action.

Many people have taken to Twitter to detail some of the events of the protests. Currently, reactions outside of France are limited, but a number of French citizens have nonetheless produced video evidence of mistreatment by police.

https://twitter.com/Jordan_SP1/status/1069610037935509504

Some, including the self-proclaimed speaker of Les Gilets Jaunes, have even called for a declaration of martial law. However, the movement, as stated previously, is very decentralized. For this reason, it is impossible to determine whether this sentiment reflects the opinion of the movement as a whole. Regardless, it appears that the European Spring is full of bold protestors who are here to stay.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

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