« Whatever the discredit of which this movement is the object on behalf of those whom it offends and disturbs and who are already working to make it expiate its insolent defiance — even if it leads for a time to the emptiness of disillusionment — we know that its shaking force will remain intact and that nothing will be able to alter the purity of its face; No composition, no agreement with a society that shyly shelters behind an authoritarian word against which has risen, in all the suddenness of its freshness, this shattering word of a child.Louis René des Forêts - Scattered notes in May. (1968…)
It is a very surprising moment that we have been witnessing for many weeks now. The sudden and unpredictable eruption of the vast « yellow vests » movement, mainly in France, has not finished questioning minds. Those who, according to the sphere of thought to which they belong — starting with those who are agitated in the circles of power — are confronted with this emergence and try to respond to it. As we have seen, the head of the French government has recently launched a strong counter-offensive against the » casseurs », these » enemies of order » and other » troublemakers threatening the Republic and its institutions » with an increased and unfailing repression. In this regard, few of our faithful readers will be fooled by these effects of pure propaganda in view of what, since the beginning of this popular insurrection from nowhere, the way in which the forces of order — gendarmes, police officers, CRS and other agents of the BAC (Brigade anti-criminalité) — have managed the demonstrations in Paris and the large agglomerations where the « yellow vests » were peacefully grouped. As we have seen, and social networks have abundantly disseminated numerous and lamentable images, the violence has come, each time and first, from the interventions of the forces of order. To which, obviously and as a consequence, the demonstrators, men and women, young or retired, independent journalists « nassés », gassed, bludgeoned and thrown to the ground, victims of anti-encirclement grenades, disfigured and mutilated by the famous and, it is always that of taken, non-lethal rubber bullets, responded as they could and, indeed, as they should. By the riot. And every Saturday since November, things have been the same. The » legal and republican » violence was answered by the perfectly justified violence of the angry insurgents.
What will have escaped no one in this sudden reappearance of a class struggle hitherto stifled by the Spectacle — in the situationist sense of » all is well in the best of worlds « It is, of course, the panic that has seized those in power, from President Macron to his ministers and troops, as well as the now infamous « media class » whose main work has consisted, for many weeks, in the systematic denigration of the vast protest movement which, of course, can only scandalize and frighten them. On all the television platforms, in the written press and with notable exceptions, the patent commentators, the journalists « new watchdogs » at the orders of their billionaire bosses, faithful and grateful friends of the enarques who serve them so well, those of the « state television » denounced by Daniel Schneidermann, went to all the lies, all the perfidies, of manipulation of images in systematic distortion of the messages which came from the « yellow vests » expressing themselves publicly in the same way for the analyses and comments of the thin fringe of those to whom one does not make it. Now, there is a good chance that neither the threats, nor the announced reinforcement of the troops of repression, nor the promises and vague questions of the hypothetical « national debate », initiated by the Macronian power and from which people expect nothing but wind and smoke, nothing of all that, certainly, will make lower the level of anger and indignation which risks to spread everywhere and even more.
For all this comes from far, far away. For decades and under all the governments and presidential figures that have succeeded one another, the part of the population now made visible by the current insurrection has been non-existent in the eyes of those in power, both those who claimed to be « left » and those who clearly displayed their support for the doctrine of triumphant liberalism. The former, as we have seen, differ from the latter only on points of detail of the order of rhetoric without effect on the policy carried out, similar to that of their alleged opponents. Thus, millions of people, the unemployed at the end of their entitlement, poor pensioners, single women with their children with derisory incomes, in short, all those absent from the statistics thus put in the closet, the famous faceless and voiceless precariousness today shows itself and makes itself heard in a masterly way. No one can say what will happen to the great movement that came from nowhere. If, as it is predictable, the « great debate » initiated by President Macron does not lead to anything concrete nor does it really meet the demands of the « yellow vests » which are being drafted in informal groups all over France, it is likely that the movement will only grow and become more radical. With, as a consequence, one can fear, an increasingly violent repression by the police force whose excesses of all kinds are covered by the Minister of the Interior, Castaner (castaner?).
So what? Nothing. A History is being written and everything, absolutely everything, is possible; see you in a few weeks with, certainly, elements of answer which will be perhaps quite surprising in more than one way.
Jean-Pierre L. Collignon