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“#Giletsjaunes”… “#YellowVests” “#YellowJackets” “communards”… “sans-culottes”… “va-nu-pieds”… “wrecked of the earth”…

Behind flowery labels stand our struggles against misery!

Originally published by Paris Luttes. Translated by Libcom.

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only. 

Read all our Gilets Jaunes articles: https://enoughisenough14.org/tag/yellow-jackets/

Barricades in fire on the Champs Elysées, luxury cars of set ablaze, luxury shops wrecked and looted, “the most beautiful avenue of the world” was burning from our desire to live and not survive anymore. “The City of Light” was much lighter than its masters ever wanted. And the fires of revolt have been burning since three weeks also in other places – in France and also in Belgium – warming up our hearts and minds.

Haven’t we just found a cure for the burn out at work? For the autumn blues? For this feeling that our lives are fading out wasted at work for a lousy pay or at school to become another unemployed? That we will never live anything else than this misery of life under the dictatorship of money?

These are the most important points that aroused our hope that all this is not a fatality, that a radical change of the society is possible.

• The movement has developed outside and in some sort also against traditional structures (parties, trade unions, media…) that capitalism equipped itself with in order to make any practical critique inoffensive.

• So far there were no “positive” demands, no speakers, no spokespersons, no negotiators, or they represented only a tiny (and sometimes not very appreciated, or even threatened by the most radicals) minority of the movement. Even if the media try to enclose the demonstrators in the framework of “struggle against taxes”, the universal motto is rather “fight against the poverty in general” in all its complexity (low wages, high prices, wasting our lives at work, alienation…) and therefore, in final consequences, it puts into question the capitalist order as such.

• The movement is organized regionally and it is overcoming the usual trade-unionists’ divisions according to production branches. It’s neighbors, friends or colleagues that meet each other on the blockades or barricades and what they have in common is not a particular interest of this or that professional branch but a general fed up with the misery of our lives that is implicitly shared by all the working class.

Attempts to restructure the movement so that it fits into the framework of capitalist structures of course exist – callings for making “clear and positive demands”, discussing with authorities, staying reasonable… But so far they didn’t have a lot of success. On the contrary the movement is not afraid to show to the so called moderates that this is no way, that they won’t give up their radicalism and that they will not let do those who want to divide the movement on this axe in order to destroy it.

• The movement, or its big part, is radical and therefore violent and it assumes it. It is not only that the “Gilets Jaunes” are not afraid of confrontation with police, many are not afraid to break, to burn, to root out; they have no respect for private property, they loot… But more important, they also claim it – some implicitly others openly, what makes the usual tactics of the bourgeoisie to divide the movement in “good demonstrators” and “bad vandals” difficult to use. Not everybody feels like to participate to the riots, but many consider the riot as a legitimate expression of the movement.

• Not only that the movement doesn’t stop to appeal the rest of the working class to join it and it is trying to spread and generalize (the protests develop in the “lycéen” sector). More and more callings for fraternization with repressive forces appear as well. There are people who reply to the CRS (antiriot police) complaining about their hard work that they can simply put down their guns and join the demonstrators. There are those who invite them to think about who is their real enemy. And there are others who call the soldiers to disobey to their masters in a case they would be deployed against the movement.

• Nothing is sacred for the movement, no symbols, no legends, no identity, no ideology that could not be burnt down, destroyed, rooted out. The best example from last weekend – the Arc de Triumph, the symbol of their bourgeois republic and its warlike omnipotence, was tagged, its museum ransacked and proletarians were dancing of joy on its roof.

These are the points to be developed and overcome in the continuing struggle. Let’s struggle together to avoid any recuperation of the movement by political parties or trade unions, let’s fight together against the frameworks of elections, reforms and demands that some would like to impose on us.

Let’s go until the final consequences of our critique!
Let’s organize, let’s discuss, and let’s feed together the fire of the revolt!
We are impatient to see, to live the next…

December 2018


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4 thoughts on ““#Giletsjaunes”… “#YellowVests” “#YellowJackets” “communards”… “sans-culottes”… “va-nu-pieds”… “wrecked of the earth”…

  1. Vous rêvez complètement! Les Gilets Jaune est un mouvement essentiellement peu politisé où l’ on trouve des militants d’ extrême droite, même des néo nazis mais aussi certes des gens de Gauche et d’extrême Gauche; l’immense partie des manifestants est sous-politisée et l’on entend souvent dire: “nous voulons que ça change mais surtout, pas de politique!”. Aucune organisation, aucun programme politique. Les revendications ne remettent JAMAIS en question l’ ordre capitaliste. On rencontre dans ce mouvement des petits patrons proches de l’ extrême droite; quelques syndicalistes; des classes moyennes souvent réactionnaires qui veulent préserver leurs petits privilèges.. Le mouvement est ultra minoritaire même si les Français le soutiennent… verbalement. Rien à voir avec Mai 1968 où la lutte était d’emblée anticapitaliste et où la classe ouvrière, même si elle n’ était pas révolutionnaire, se situait sur le terrain de la lutte de classe. Les Gilets Jaunes sont très séduits par les courants populistes (Hongrie, Italie, Etats-Unis).. Vous verrez partout avec les Gilets Jaunes des drapeaux français, jamais des drapeaux rouges. Votre article est celui de quelqu’un qui ne connait absolument pas la situation réelle en France.

    1. That’s your opinion. By the way we saw more than once people kicking fascists out of the demo. We also saw red and black flags.

  2. Vous rêvez complètement! Les Gilets Jaune est un mouvement
    essentiellement peu politisé où l’ on trouve des militants d’ extrême
    droite, même des néo nazis mais aussi certes des gens de Gauche et
    d’extrême Gauche; l’immense partie des manifestants est sous-politisée
    et l’on entend souvent dire: “nous voulons que ça change mais surtout,
    pas de politique!”. Aucune organisation, aucun programme politique.
    Les revendications ne remettent JAMAIS en question l’ ordre
    capitaliste. On rencontre dans ce mouvement des petits patrons
    proches de l’ extrême droite; quelques syndicalistes; des classes
    moyennes souvent réactionnaires qui veulent préserver leurs petits
    privilèges.. Le mouvement est ultra minoritaire même si les Français
    le soutiennent… verbalement. Rien à voir avec Mai 1968 où la lutte
    était d’emblée anticapitaliste et où la classe ouvrière, même si elle
    n’ était pas révolutionnaire, se situait sur le terrain de la lutte de
    classe. Les Gilets Jaunes sont très séduits par les courants
    populistes (Hongrie, Italie, Etats-Unis).. Vous verrez partout avec
    les Gilets Jaunes des drapeaux français, jamais des drapeaux rouges.
    Votre article est celui de quelqu’un qui ne connait absolument pas la
    situation réelle en France.

    1. That’s your opinion. By the way we saw red and black flags also yesterday.

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