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 Post subject: 'Yellow vest' protesters
PostPosted: January 7 19, 3:56 pm 
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Seems like kind of a big deal. I'm not sure what to make of it.

France: 'Yellow vest' protesters storm ministry in Paris
"Yellow vest" protesters clashed with police in several French cities, smashing their way into a government ministry in Paris with a forklift.

Benjamin Griveaux - a government spokesman evacuated from his ministry in central Paris on Saturday when a handful of protesters in high-visibility vests smashed down the large wooden door to the ministry compound - denounced the break-in as an "unacceptable attack on the Republic".

"Some yellow vest protesters and other people dressed in black ... got hold of a construction vehicle which was in the street nearby and smashed open the entrance gate to the ministry," he told the AFP news agency.

They briefly entered the courtyard where they smashed up two cars, broke some windows and then escaped, Griveaux added, saying police were trying to identify them from security footage.

The Interior Ministry put the number of protesters who took to the streets across France at 50,000, compared with 32,000 on December 29 when the movement appeared to be weakening after holding a series of weekly Saturday protests since mid-November.

French ‘yellow vest’ protesters demand something no Western leader grasps
In times past, that French demand for justice might have been channeled via mainstream political parties, primarily on the left. But the mainstream French socialist party is in tatters, as are social democratic parties elsewhere in Europe. Ditto for the French Communist Party, and the once strong communist-backed CGT union. (The mainstream conservative right party is also having trouble finding its bearings.)

Moreover, the main populist leader on the right, Marine Le Pen, discredited herself in the presidential election (although polls show her party has strong support among the yellow vests).

Macron, with his brand new En Marche party presented himself as the candidate for change – and has been trying to reform a stagnant economy and encourage growth. But he failed to grasp the economic and social despair in areas far from Paris.

With the political establishment in disarray, a spontaneous eruption on the streets was a very French response to the anger of a large segment of the population. (The violence at the demonstrations was mostly the work of youthful gangs from the slums who latched on to what had been peaceful protests.)

Contrary to President Trump’s tweets, these protesters aren’t targeting immigration or the global pact on climate change. (Nor did they cheer for Trump, as the president claimed.) The yellow vests focused narrowly on their quality of life and fears that it will never improve.

PostPosted: January 7 19, 4:01 pm 
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Austerity kills.

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