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#GiletsJaunes: A strategic essay on the weekend of November 16/17 in #Paris

For the coming weekend, the Gilets Jaunes are mobilizing nationwide to Paris to mark the first anniversary of the beginning of their movement. The Gilets Jaunes have announced actions on the Champs Elysees, occupations, spontaneous demos,…

In Nov/Dec last year, the state apparatus was repeatedly surprised, the most noble districts of the city centre were devastated, luxury shops and jewellery shops were looted (jewellery worth 2 million was stolen from Dior alone), and police units were forced to flee in many places. Here now the translation of the considerations of some Gilets Jaunes, which were originally published on Paris Luttes Infos and translated in German by Sebastian Lotzer. We translated his translation into English.

Originally published by Non Copy Riot. Translated by Enough 14.

The decrees of the prefecture have been updated again since Saturday November 9th, and the bans on demonstrations will certainly come into force again in the area of western Paris. We face two problems: The mobilisation of repressive forces and what follows. “Preventive” controls, numerous arrests, monitoring of processions… The other problem is likely to be bringing together the various groups of people who are wandering around to form a real demonstration.

On September 21 (1), several groups of demonstrators managed to reach the Champs in bigger or smaller numbers, without being able to transform themselves into a large crowd. The ultra-aggressive strategy of the prefecture no longer allows us to stay in a static place while we wait for the accumulation of small groups to become a real demonstration. The permanent mobility of the demonstrators is increasingly reflected in their fleeing from the grip of the police apparatus, a phenomenon that is amplified due to the fluctuations in the number of demonstrators on the street.

If we want to infiltrate the rich districts in Paris on Saturday, November 16, successively from districts dominated by the police, we must consider the form of the police occupation, that is, the tactics of the police occupation process, of the concentration of large units at one point. We cannot dispel them by attacking them directly, but only by disentangling them.

Assuming the need to reach the Champs has become a defensive logic. Since the new police prefect and his tactics, which have been in place since mid-March, we can no longer try to secure or defend a fixed position, but must no longer wait to get surrounded before we take countermeasures. Given the tactical layout of the strategically most important locations, our tactics must be based on harassment, discouragement and distraction of the police.

Meanwhile every announced meeting point is completely controlled by the police: Therefore, a meeting point in a non-central area would be to our advantage. We must proceed from places that are not prohibited by the police in order to concentrate as much force as possible. In order to have this advantage, it is necessary from the beginning of the morning to be able to soften the power they exercise with a large number of policemen, to lure them out of their static checkpoints and to make them responsible as quickly as possible, to ensure active order in the districts for which all demonstrative actions have been prohibited. If this effect becomes widespread, this strategy will be all too practical and will evolve according to the circumstances.

Let us give as much thought as possible to the possible circumvention of police preparations. Let us think about minimizing the involvement of the voltigeurs (2) and forcing the CRS units to switch back and forth between positions with the aim of disorganizing. Let’s use the fire brigade to break the police waves, get the fire trucks to the front line to make it more difficult for the mobile units to invade our ranks (3). We will experience moments of weakness, panic due to the use of the arsenal of police weapons and also the break-up of groups.

But we need to find a way to regroup despite the police’s ongoing chases. In order to maintain the flow of demonstrators, it would be necessary, depending on the scale of the demonstrations, to propose other neighbourhoods for early evening meetings. This would allow us to keep our motivation on the streets, to strengthen it and to create several phases, several stages of struggle on Saturday. Not to be worn-out and to be able to continue our efforts. The multitude of moments that this day will produce will provoke the refusal to simply go. All this also in order not to be out of breath and without perspective all day long!

  • Let’s fight in several stages on Saturday
  • One phase in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.
  • Allow yourself moments of rest so that you can resist until late into the night.

Another week to reconsider our tactics, or at least to take into account the diversity of our actions according to the different situations. One week to bring as many people as possible!

Some Yellow Vests among many others

(1) https://non.copyriot.com/paris-am-21-september-ein-rueckblick-auf-den-acte-45/

(2) A historicizing term, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltigeur

(3) The translator does not know whether this refers to the equipment of the fire brigade or whether it is assumed that the striking firefighters will be involved. Anyway, the Parisian firefighters recently got into a good fight with the cops.


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1 thought on “#GiletsJaunes: A strategic essay on the weekend of November 16/17 in #Paris

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