Tag Archives: social movements

Mass protests across Europe show that a new politics is on the horizon

by Vladimir Unkovski-Korica

‘No Christmas for the bourgeoisie!’ declared graffiti on a wall in Paris as the Gilets Jaunes protests electrified Europe since their first protest on 17 November.

France | The “Yellow Vests”: La République en marche arrière

by Sungur Savran

The gilets jaunes movement in France has already achieved a great feat. It has won its immediate demand concerning the carbon tax, thus bringing down the price of gasoline and diesel. It has also imposed on Macron and his government economic concessions no one would believe possible only a month ago. In the process, it has entirely capsized the economic ship of the Macron team: one major objective of Macron was to finally bring down France’s budget deficit below the Maastricht 3 per cent, whereas it hovered above that mark for ten years under the two previous presidents of the republic, Sarkozy and Hollande. The radical liberal Macron was planning to savour the glory of this “victory”. The gilets jaunes changed the entire balance: with an additional ten billion euro added to the deficit, due to lower revenues because of the elimination of the carbon tax and additional government spending for the extra measures that Macron had to concede to the people (in particular, the 100 euro raise to the minimum wage will be shouldered by the government), France will now remain above the 3 per cent mark once again! How ironic to see the European Commission fustigate the Salvini government (for that is what it is!) for a deficit below 3 per cent while it will probably have to look away when the liberal Macron exceeds the Maastricht criterion once again!

Hungary | Viktor Orban and Scott Walker: “Reconsider It!”

Protesters poured into the streets of Budapest by the thousands the past few nights with calls for Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, to “reconsider it!” The policy to be reconsidered is what Hungary’s workers are calling the government’s new “slave law” requiring labor to work up to 400 mandatory hours of overtime (think: every Saturday all year at 8 hours a day), with the “promise” of pay 3 years later. Meanwhile, recent weeks saw protestors in Wisconsin marching to their capitol demanding the outgoing Republican Governor, Scott Walker (“butler” to the “black energy” oil and coal baron Koch Brothers), halt plans to restrict the powers of the new incoming Democratic governor. Changes to giveaways to big business through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, among other measures, would be foreclosed, ensuring that public gravy keeps getting ladled out to business interests favored by the Republicans.

France | France’s Macron Announces Pseudo Raise of Minimum Wage

Political opponents, who have largely failed so far to tap into the discontent from the leaderless “yellow vest,” criticized Macron’s response as insufficient.

President Emmanuel Macron on Monday announced wage rises for the poorest workers and tax cuts for pensioners in further concessions meant to defuse weeks of often violent protests that have challenged his authority.

France | France’s “yellow vest” protesters brave repression and mass arrests

by Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira

For the fourth consecutive Saturday, “yellow vest” (gilet jaunes) protestors demonstrated yesterday across France against the rightwing government of Emmanuel Macron. They did so in defiance of ominous threats of state violence and a massive mobilization of security forces.