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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    National Secretary of Firefighter Union: Many firefighters are ready to join Yellow Vests

    Sputnik
    Tue, 19 Nov 2019 07:51 UTC

    French professional firefighters are seeking to expand their protest movement with a new series of actions starting in the first week of December, says Remy Chabbouh, national secretary of the Firefighter Union of the South. He has explained why many of his colleagues want to join the yellow vests.


    Yellow Vests' Protest © Sputnik

    On 16 November, the yellow vests took to the streets marking the first anniversary of the movement that was triggered by the proposed hike in fuel prices and swiftly morphed into a nation-wide action against Paris' economic policies, tax reforms, and social inequalities.

    The protesters were confronted by riot police using tear gas and water cannons. Over 100 people were arrested in Paris, where violent rioters smashed windows and ransacked historical monuments.

    The year-long protests forced the government into taking conciliatory measures, announced by French President Emmanuel Macron in April 2019. The proposed measures included the elimination of the fuel tax that became the trigger for the protests, middle-class tax cuts, increasing scrutiny of tax evasion schemes and reinvestment the country's in local administrations. However, the concessions failed to upend the protest movement.

    Meanwhile, on 14 November, thousands of healthcare workers took to the streets in France's capital and other cities with the slogan "Save public hospitals" being joined by French professional firefighters who have been protesting for several months. In June 2019 seven unions, representing 85 percent of the professional firefighters informed France's Interior Minister Christophe Castaner about the forthcoming action citing problems with the emergency services.

    Remy Chabbouh, national secretary of the firefighter union of the South, says that many of his colleagues want to join the yellow vests, since the freedom of action of traditional unions is now limited by French laws.

    Sputnik France: You are protesting with healthcare workers today. Are we witnessing the convergence of struggles?

    Remy Chabbouh: Yes, we hope so. Both healthcare workers and firefighters belong to a specific category, we operate in parallel. We face the same personnel and financial constraints. When firefighters attend to an emergency it is directed by the Emergency Medical Services, subordinated to the Regional Health Agency (ARS). Firefighters and healthcare personnel have common colleagues including nurses, medical assistants, doctors or emergency doctors.

    Sputnik France: You say that the government did not take into consideration your demands voiced at the national demonstration of 15 October. You believe that the time has come to utilise the other modes of action. Which ones in particular?

    Remy Chabbouh: For our part, today's demonstration was the last one in its traditional sense when an application is submitted to the prefecture with regard to the demonstrators' movement from point A to point B. We are going to resort to other modes of action starting in early December. Being an organiser, I can tell you about them. We intend to hold a protracted demonstration (for several days or even weeks) in one of the Parisian squares. We will embark on it from 2 December to 6 December and intend to settle there for a long time with tents and folding beds. This is a new form of struggle aimed at bringing together representatives of the professions that face the same problems as we do, as well as the general population. Having a sort of a static tent city will allow us to increase the amount of protesters starting with about 70 firefighters. And then we hope that 200, 300, or even a thousand people and maybe even more will take part in our action.

    Sputnik France: On November 16, the yellow vests marked the first anniversary of the movement. They call upon representatives of all the social strata to join them. Will firefighters respond to this call?

    Remy Chabbouh: Indeed, a certain part of firefighters believe that the demands of trade unions are no longer taken into account. When one snubs trade unions and does not listen to them, some of our colleagues take the path of radicalisation and chose to proceed with other forms of action. Today, many firefighters want to join the yellow vests which enjoy a freedom of action that the unions do not have anymore. It is necessary to inform the authorities about the demonstration and its actual route several days before the event takes place. Today, unpredictability is the key to effective action. Yellow vests proved it. So yes, many firefighters are ready to join the yellow vests. The authorities would have shown common sense by raising the prestige of trade unions and federations. This would have facilitated dialogue at a higher level, because right now, it's a real mess.
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  3. Link to Post #322
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Yellow Vests reach 1 year: The redemption of France’s revolutionary spirit

    by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog (cross-posted with PressTV)
    November 20, 2019
    (Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.)

    For many years to come France will be divided into two periods – before the Yellow Vests, and after the Yellow Vests. It’s widely believed in France that things can never go back to the way they were.

    I’m not sure there can be a better yardstick of domestic success – a better gauge of sociocultural impact – than that?

    Outside of France the Yellow Vests have given the world a precious gift, and at a huge sacrifice: nobody will ever view “French-style democracy” with the respect their government arrogantly demands as the alleged “birthplace of human rights”. For a generation or longer, “What about the Yellow Vests?”, will be a conversation-ending question to anyone who claims the moral superiority of the “Western-style” political system.

    Systematic repression of the poorest classes are indeed “universal values”, but only within neoliberal and neo-imperial systems. Make no mistake: It has been one year of open Yellow Vest revolt against the economic dictates of that “neoliberal empire”, the European Union, and it’s neo-colonial puppet temporarily occupying Élysée Palace in Paris.

    What the last year has testified to is the redemption of France’s revolutionary spirit. Not every country has that, after all.

    England, for example, will foolishly “keep calm and carry on” – a perfect summation of change-hating conservatism – until the bitter end, always. This is why reading English-language media coverage of the Yellow Vests was so very similar – “English conservative opposes egalitarian movement in France”. They have been running the same story for 200+ years, going back to Edmund Burke, who founded modern Western conservatism with his (reactionary) Reflections on the Revolution in France in 1790.

    France is not England, but 53 weeks ago I don’t think anyone imagined that the French could possibly muster the stamina, dedication and self-sacrifice to protest amid massive state-sponsored repression every weekend for one year.

    It’s an amazing achievement, and only those full of spite and hate could deny them a modest present of honest recognition on their birthday.

    But Western mainstream media coverage in English and French was just that – they claimed the Yellow Vests achieved nothing.

    One thing the French don’t like to be reminded of is: the French Revolution failed, and quickly. It’s as if they forget Emperor Napoleon?

    The French Revolution is not like the Iranian, Chinese or Cuban Revolutions, all of which have endured. The American Revolution has also endured – too bad that it was even more aristocratic (bourgeois) and sectarian than the French Revolution.

    But the French Revolution occurred in an era of constant regional imperialism, war, slavery, repression of women, religious and ethnic sectarianism, etc. – we would be wrong to say it did not still have positive worldwide ramifications in the most important realms of politics, economics, culture, etc. The USSR – the only empire based on affirmative action – also failed, but we would be wrong to say it didn’t also produce positive changes for their people and also worldwide.

    Quickly, here are a few tangible victories of the Yellow Vests: they prevented Emmanuel Macron from presenting a 10th consecutive annual austerity budget, they prevented Macron from de-nationalising the three airports of Paris, and the 10 billion euros in so-called “concessions” was credited with keeping French economic growth in the positive in the last quarter.

    However, even if the Yellow Vests have obviously not yet toppled the 5th Republic and set up a new order, their cultural is inestimable. Just as the Occupy Movement of the US in 2011 gave us the slogan and mentality of “We are the 99%”, so will the Yellow Vests stand for something equally conscience-raising.

    The Yellow Vests want a French Cultural Revolution, and should lead it
    However, a big difference between the two movements is that Occupy was led by many college-educated “do-gooders” – and God bless them – whereas the Yellow Vests are undoubtedly a movement of the most marginalised classes.

    Seemingly the most comprehensive survey thus far showed that few Vesters are unemployed, two-thirds of Vesters make less than the average national wage, and an even greater percentage regret a lack of cultural resources and social links. In other words: hard-working, (yet still) poor, isolated citizens who yearn for more cultural enrichment.

    This is why I have repeatedly drawn a different parallel: the Yellow Vests are essentially demanding a Cultural Revolution. Only China and Iran have ever had one, and both were state-sponsored.

    Cultural Revolutions put the values of the formerly-oppressed classes into power – everything is brought to a halt for perhaps years in order to engage in mass discussions, with the aim of drastically updating a nation’s democratic institutions and general culture in order to accord with modern political ideals. This is precisely what the Yellow Vests want: a long, comprehensive, democratic rethink and public debate over France’s inclusion in the European Union, the eurozone, NATO, and the Americanisation/neoliberalisation of their domestic policies.

    Chinese peasants, Iran’s “revolution of the barefooted” and the rural-based Yellow Vests – it’s impossible not to admit the parallels. The West, of course, only insists that both Cultural Revolutions were huge mistakes.

    Not true: China’s Cultural Revolution created the rural economic and human capital which laid the groundwork for their 1980s-onwards boom, although the West would have you believe its rebirth sprung only from Deng’s reforms; Iran’s Cultural Revolution swept away the elite’s oppressive aping of the West and created the first modern Muslim democracy.

    The Yellow Vests insist that they are the “real” France, and after a year of talking with them I agree – they know as much or more about politics than I do. Politics is not rocket science, after all, but mainly applying common morality to public policy and daily events.
    Iran and China already had a government inspired by socialist democracy (and not by aristocratic liberal democracy) when they embarked on their Cultural Revolutions, whereas France does not – thus the repression.

    What did the Occupy Movement “achieve”, after all? They prevented no bailouts, they folded after infinitely less state repression and there is no direct movement linked with them today. However, only a Burkean conservative would insist that the Occupy Movement didn’t wake many people up to the struggles of class warfare, and of egalitarian right and greedy wrong. It’s never mentioned in the Western media – which only adores far-right, nativist, anti-socialist movements like in Hong Kong – but Algerians have protested for 39 consecutive weekends as well.

    The Yellow Vests have not failed – they have much to celebrate on their birthday, and this article serves as a rare reminder of that reality.

    Iranian and Russian media – doing France’s job for them
    What’s important to note is that since late June – when France started going on summer vacation – Russian and Iranian media in Paris (including my Farsi- and Spanish-language colleagues) have been the only television journalists openly covering the Yellow Vest demonstrations.

    My French colleagues have done the most cowardly thing possible – they quit the field. For many months people in Paris couldn’t believe I had to work covering the Yellow Vests on Saturday: I repeatedly heard, “I thought they were finished?”

    With exceptions I can count on one hand, for many months French media has been either totally absent or hidden. There are certainly no reporters doing live interviews (even without a logo displaying whom they work for), even though the presence of live reporters inherently reduces the willingness of police to be violent. Considering the toll of violence – 11,000 arrested, 2,000 convicted, 1,000 imprisoned, 5,000 hurt,1,000 critically injured and the innumerable tear-gassings – it’s no wonder French people hate the media.

    In France the vast majority of media are private, with editorial lines decided by a handful of billionaires – that’s just how Western journalism works, sadly. “Free speech”, they call it. However, where are the public media – they are paid by taxpayer dollars to objectively cover their own nation?! Quite pathetic….

    This is probably why the Macron administration openly disparages Russia’s RT and Sputnik (we won’t get into their problems with PressTV here): we have spent the past year properly doing our jobs, unlike France’s media.

    That’s too bad for France, but the unexpected and undeniable accomplishments of the Yellow Vests speak for themselves. Who knows what they might achieve in year 2?
    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Thousands of tractors plow through Berlin streets again in protest at new green regulations

    RT
    Tue, 26 Nov 2019 11:33 UTC


    © Ruptly

    Up to 5,000 tractors descended upon the German capital on Tuesday to protest the government's latest agricultural policies and environmental protection regulations which farmers claim are too restrictive.

    German authorities estimate somewhere in the region of 5,000 tractors and 10,000 farmers entered Berlin in a slow-moving convoy, bringing the capital to a relative standstill at certain points. The protesters eventually gathered at Berlin's iconic landmark Brandenburg Gate.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel's government made the proposals back in September to curb the use of pesticides and herbicides to better protect the country's insect populations, while also placing limits on the use of fertilizers to protect Germany's groundwater.

    Quote
    Natalia Smolentceva @ananats

    Morning at the Brandenburg Gate. Around a hundred of farmers is here already to demonstrate against government's agricultural policies. Organisers expect 5000 tractors from all over Germany in the afternoon

    10:47 AM - Nov 26, 2019
    Disgruntled farmers feel there should be consultation and cooperation between conservationists, environmentalists, farmers and the government to create policies that are effective at protecting the environment while maintaining German agricultural competitiveness.

    While Merkel agreed in principle and talks are scheduled to begin at the start of December, these are not the first such protests by farmers in recent weeks.

    Hamburg witnessed a similar demonstration of slow-moving outrage earlier this month.


    © REUTERS/Annegret Hilse
    Ruptly
    890K subscribers

    Ruptly is live from Berlin on Tuesday, November 26 as farmers drive through the streets of the German capital to rally against the country’s environmental, agricultural, and trade policy.

    The protest comes after the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel introduced a new package of regulations phasing out the weedkiller glyphosate in the next four years.

    Farmers from other European countries such as France and the Netherlands have been taking part in similar protests in recent weeks.
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Irate French farmers descend on Paris in 1,000-strong tractor convoy to protest EU regulations (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

    RT
    27 Nov, 2019 10:47
    Updated 3 hours ago
    Get short URL


    © REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

    Roughly one thousand tractors have descended on Paris as French farmers protest against government policies and international trade agreements which they say are impacting their bottom line and thus their quality of life.

    The frustrated farmers are assembling at Avenue Foch, near the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe.

    LIVE: Farmers’ unions protest government and media in Paris
    The protest was organized by the two main farmers’ unions who have called for a joint meeting with President Emmanuel Macron to discuss his policies, which they claim are hurting the agricultural sector.


    © REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

    The farmers are also complaining of widespread “agri-bashing” in the media and political spheres, in which the agricultural industry has become the sacrificial lamb for environmental issues.

    Vegan activists have reportedly attacked farms and butcher’s shops amid animal welfare concerns, and environmental groups have criticized the use of the weedkiller glyphosate, calling for it to be banned.


    © REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

    Macron has expressed interest in banning the weedkiller by 2021, which would go beyond current EU regulation.

    France is the largest agricultural producer in the EU, and its farmers are irate over the bloc’s trade deals with the likes of Canada and the Mercosur bloc in South America, which they say will flood the European market with cheaper goods at lower standards.

    Similar protests have been held across Europe in recent days.
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    France's nationwide strike starts December 5th, set to be the biggest in decades

    Alex Ledsom Forbes
    Mon, 02 Dec 2019 15:32 UTC


    A hospital employee wears a blouse reading "on strike" on November 14, 2019 in Quimper, western France. © AFP via Getty Images

    Even for a country with a reputation for strikes, France's planned walkouts on Thursday, December 5, could be the biggest the country has seen in years; many are predicting the country could come to an actual standstill. What's more, the strikes may last weeks.

    Who exactly is going on strike?

    According to The Connection, the strike is expected to start at 10pm on Wednesday, December 4, when workers at SNCF (France's national rail company) and RATP (Paris' regional transport authority) officially walk out. Air France air and ground crews will be on strike, making flights in and out of French airports difficult, notably because air traffic controllers will also walk out. Public travel generally will be made even more difficult by today's announcement by lorry drivers that they intend to blockade major French roads from December 7 onwards. French people, reliant on cars to get to work have started stocking up on cans of petrol to have as a fall back in case garages run dry due to issues with delivery.

    Postal workers and other public service staff are expected to protest-three teaching unions have given the Ministry of Education formal notice of their intention to strike. The police intend to hold action in support of the strikes from 10am to 3pm across all police services and won't take part in additional airport or motorway checks throughout the day.

    Ambulance drivers and hospital workers - who were on strike last week -will likely join the fray and recent striking firefighters might be added to the mix. The strike also has the support of the Gilets Jaunes movement, which has taken to the streets every weekend for the past year. One barristers union is also in favour, calling December 5, "a day for dead justice".


    Firefighters demonstrate on November 14, 2019 outside the prefecture building in Lille, northern France © AFP via Getty Images

    Why are they on strike?
    The strike is against the French government's proposed pension reforms. President Macron wishes to streamline the current pension system comprising 42 separate regimes into a single operating system. The new system would introduce a "points system" of retirement, which threatens the current early retirement age of many public service workers.

    More importantly for the protesters, the reforms would impact how much money they receive. Currently, public sector workers' pensions are calculated on the salary they earned for the last six months of working life - which is usually the highest for most people - and they are also assessed on the 25 best years of their working life. The new system will take every year into account, meaning that people who worked on lower salaries for years or had periods of unemployment, will see that translate into a lower pension.


    SNCF Railway workers protest in front of the headquarters of SNCF in Saint-Denis, near Paris, on October 29, 2019. © AFP via Getty Images

    How is this strike different from others?
    The first smaller strike on September 13 was dubbed "Black Friday" and brought Parisian streets to a standstill, with some tailbacks trailing as far as 200km (125 miles). However, people generally seem to believe this will be much, much bigger. Firstly, in size, as it includes all union members across the major sectors comprising public life. Secondly, the five large trade unions in the RATP (Paris transport network) have called for "unlimited strikes" and want this to be only the first, so it's likely to continue. Many unions have warned that strikes might run until Christmas. Thirdly, because of the stakes. French workers have been fighting the government against pension reforms since 1995 when Jacques Chirac tried to change the system; the proposed reform at that time, according to The Local, brought people to the streets in a way that hadn't been seen since the spring of discontent in May 1968. After weeks of protest at the government threatening to increase the age of retirement, the plan was dropped. The new plans are much more severe.


    Farmers stand next to tractors, in Laon, northern France, on October 8, 2019, during a demonstration © AFP via Getty Images

    A recent poll in La Tribune suggested that 60% of the general public is in favour and believe that the government avance en terrain miné-that is to say, faces a mine field fighting the weight of public opinion. Detractors believe the public might shift its opinion when airports and train tracks lay empty and daily lives become affected. It's really a case of who blinks first; people feel strongly but President Macron has staked his political reputation on the outcome. And the French are used to fighting for a cause. A European Trade Union Institute study found that between 2010 and 2017, French strike days were 125 per 1,000 employees, compared to 20 in the U.K., 17 in Germany and 3 in Sweden.
    SOTT Comment:
    Discontent with government cut backs is not limited to France, many countries within the EU, and elsewhere, are seeing a similar collapse in the overall quality of life; the difference in France seems to be that its citizens are taking the risk to push back.

    It would appear that while Macron's government did manage to smear and suppress the Gilet Jaunes movement to some extent, that hasn't quelled the overall feeling that the lives of citizens are being sacrificed for government ideology.
    Related:
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Police & protesters clash at Paris’ Gare de Lyon
    as pension reform strike continues


    23 Dec, 2019



    French riot police and protesters clashed inside the Gare de Lyon railway station in Paris on Monday amid ongoing strikes against the government’s plans to overhaul the country’s pension system.

    The strikes have been running for 19 days, causing major transport chaos at one of the busiest times of the year to travel.

    BFMTV reports that hundreds of demonstrators crowded into the station, with some setting off a series of smoke bombs inside the corridors, briefly stopping the escalators and blocking access to part of the station. Some protesters were filmed carrying flares.

    Monday’s protests also affected the Gare du Nord, which is also home to the Eurostar terminal in Paris, and the Gare de l’Est.

    French President Emmanuel Macron has appealed to the unions to call off the strikes over the holiday period, but has refused to offer any concessions. The contentious reforms involve rolling multiple pension plans into one, and increasing the retirement age. 

    The unions, meanwhile, have expressed concern that the new scheme will force people to work for longer and for less money, and have refused any truce. They say the government is not listening to what people on the street are saying, and are planning a new round of strikes in January.

    French transport could be further affected into 2020 as airline crews and oil depots workers are expected to join the strike.

    https://www.rt.com/news/476661-franc...clashes-paris/

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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Half Of France's National Train System "Grinds To A Halt" As Labor Unions Strike On Christmas Week


    https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-f...ue, 12/24/2019


    Tue, 12/24/2019

    French labor unions won't be giving any presents to citizens who want to travel by train this Christmas. 

    That's because strikes by transport workers against the government's pension-reform plan have shut down half of national train services this weekend, with 59% of services expected to be cut on December 23-24, according to Bloomberg. 

    French railway company, SNCF, has suspended its unaccompanied minor service, canceling about 6,000 tickets for children this week. Four out of five trains were also suspended in the greater Paris area and the capital's metro system also stopped, with the exception of two automated lines. 

    French President Emmanuel Macron urged the unions to come to a truce for the holiday week at the same time public support for the strike during the holiday had fallen to 51%. This is down from 63% just five days prior. However, a poll on Thursday showed 55% of respondents thought the labor unions were "wrong" to strike during the holiday period. 

    Macron commented: “Strikes are protected by the constitution. But there are times in a nation’s history when it’s also good to know when to call a truce to respect families and family life.” 

    Some unions are calling for truces, others aren't. And the strikes seem to be having an impact. Polls show 57% of people reject Macron's pension reform, which is higher than when the protests started on December 5. Some unions have called for a new day of demonstrations on January 9. 

    Macron's administration has had better success with tax and labor laws, but the French people are "wedded to their pension system", making reform a difficult task. Macron aims to merge 42 separate regimes into a single, universal points-based system. The plan also seeks to raise the age for full benefits from 62 to 64. Workers have stood in stark opposition to the changes while the French government aims to phase out special retirement plans for sectors ranging from train conductors to dancers at the Paris Opera.

    Macron has tried to lead by example, but to no avail:
    Le Parisien newspaper reported on Sunday that Macron will also give up his right under a 1955 law to a set pension for life granted to French presidents once they finish their mandate and will instead switch to a points-based calculation. He will also abandon the right to a post for life at France’s Constitutional Council, which brings with it 13,500 euros ($14,957) in compensation, the paper said.
    Meanwhile, the strikes are resulting in a surge of bookings for car-sharing services, which has, in turn, led to hundreds of miles of traffic jams around the French capital. 

    Car sharing bookings have "doubled" since the start of the protests and have beaten records, ride hailing company BlaBlaCar said. The company says it'll have 2 million seats available between Dec. 20 and Jan. 5, which works out to the equivalent of 5,000 TGV high speed trains - but, you know, moving much slower. 

    Nicolas Brusson, chief executive officer of BlaBlaCar, said: “We see a real solidarity of drivers, more people are offering seats than ever.”

    SNCF says it'll try to keep the main lines running on December 23 and December 24. Union leaders met with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Wednesday and Thursday, but said that talks failed to advance. 69% of people polled said they expect the government to push through with reforms without caving to protests.

    One French union, the CFDT, called for a truce over the holiday. Laurent Berger, the leader of the CFDT, said: “Everyone should be able to travel freely to do what they need to do during the holiday season.”

    We'll check back in on Easter. 


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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Pilots break strike unity as Macron’s ‘Thatcher moment’ is right now

    December 31, 2019

    By Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog crossposted with PressTV


    But nobody is making a sound about it, and not even Macron.

    Maybe they will now: The first union has selfishly broken ranks – French pilots and cabin crews. It’s a “universal” pension system, sure… except for the groups who Macron has to buy off to break the strike.

    French President Emmanuel Macron has barely said two words about the general strike, even though it has lasted four weeks and will soon become the longest general strike ever in French history.

    And many French don’t even mind. It’s a quirk of the French system I cannot yet explain: they view it as normal that Macron has not commented on the general strike because that is the domain of the prime minister.

    French contradictions abound, and they think the mystery makes them appear deep: France’s president is well-known to be closest thing to a constitutional dictator the West has, and yet the PM is supposed to be given much latitude on domestic policy?

    I have heard this often, but never seen it action: the idea that Macron’s PM is not beholden to the ideas and orders of his boss on the pension plan is absurd. To me it has always seen like a way for the president to have someone to blame his unpopular policies on.

    But Macron has given one press conference in 2.5 years, and he didn’t say the words “Yellow Vest” in public until after 23 Saturdays, and no one seems up in arms about it (besides the Yellow Vests), so… c’est la France.

    Macron will probably make a rote plea for unity at his annual New Year’s Eve wishes – the guy is speaking at 8pm, so if all you have going is watching Macron’s press conference then take heart: 2020 can only get better than 2019 for you.

    The coverage of the general strike from non-French media reminds me of France’s recent coverage of the resolution (one step below a law) which equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism: there was a decent amount of coverage AFTER the resolution became a fact.

    This was obvious to predict, but there is an omertà regarding France’s general strike from Anglophone media – it’s almost as if they don’t want to ruin a good thing. If there was any room for leftism in the West’s “free speech means corporate media own all speech” now would be the time to be up in arms with keyboards in hands. But people repeatedly tell me they can’t find anything about it in non-French sources.

    Honestly: This can’t go on in France any longer

    Without any exaggeration, the French (and certainly the “French model”, aka “Capitalism with French characteristics) simply cannot sustain more austerity attacks which “re(de)form” it into an Anglo-Saxon model and here’s why: If you take home €2,500 a month in France you have a really good job (especially in 2019). If you take home $2,500 per month in the US (making about $20 per hour) your job is desirable but not really good.

    Yes, 42% of Americans don’t even make $15 hour but the point is: the French model is based on low wages. The Swiss, Germans, UK, etc. – they all make much more than rich France.

    The reason France accepts lousy wages was their Nordic-level social safety net: so they had guaranteed work contracts (“CDIs”), 2-3 years of decent unemployment, 5 weeks paid vacation legal minimum, cheap schools from 3 months old to PhD, cheap medical care and a good pension. Make no mistake because I know you right wingers will: This is a system which is paid for by the French worker giving up 40% of their pay check every month, and then 10% annually in an income tax. I.e., low wages.

    That concept is crucial to understand. A whopping 80% of the pension system is funded by taxes on individuals and bosses, and not the state.
    The French pension isn’t “unsustainable” at all: if it is “underfunded” it is only on the state side, and only because the state has purposely starved it of funds via funding cuts. With the stroke of a budget pen its minor deficit could be resolved. Baby Boomers will be dropping like flies by the 2030s reducing fiscal stress- the system works, and it can last.

    This explains why all neoliberals can really come with to justify junking the ENTIRE system is that it is too “complex”. Why is complexity automatically a negative thing? I’m glad these guys didn’t take up physics. The other reason they deploy is that some people – like manual laborers, those who work in hard and/or dangerous conditions – retire early to avoid death/maiming on the job due to “you’re too old for this” syndrome. They have seized upon the “injustice” of these “special regimes”. All of a sudden neoliberals care about injustice….. Of course the one-size-fits-all, universal system is as regressive (not progressive) as a flat tax, and that’s why no nation does it.

    . . . . . French pilots and cabin crews have called off a strike they had planned for January 3 – they got a sweetheart deal from Macron, and you can all go kick rocks for calling them “stewardesses”. The Macron administration has only negotiated en masse with unions for three days out of 26 consecutive strike days – they never wanted to make a broad deal but only a few small deals in order to “divide and conquer” and break the strike.

    read more: https://thesaker.is/pilots-break-str...-is-right-now/






    ‚Art against austerity’: Paris Opera gives free street performance amid strikes over pension reform (31 Dec, 2019)



    __________________________________________________ _________




    France strikes break 51-year record as they enter 32nd day


    Fresh CLASHES in Paris as French pension reform strike breaks records


    Protests against the French government’s plans to overhaul the pension system have reached a new milestone on their 29th day, breaking national records for the longest-ever strike, as demonstrators and police clashed in Paris.
    Thursday’s strike action saw protesters block two bus depots in Paris. Officers dispatched to the protest were filmed spraying what some described as tear gas directly into the faces of some of the demonstrators.

    Tear gas was also reportedly used by police on the streets of the city center where protesters marched on Thursday, some bearing brightly-burning flares, and there were several arrests as riot police and demonstrators clashed.

    Unions began protesting against the pension reform proposals on December 5, 2019, and warned the strikes, which have seriously impacted on the country’s transport services, would continue into the new year unless the Macron government took their concerns about the pension system changes on board.

    The previous record for the longest continuous strike in France was 28 days, set by rail workers in 1968.

    Videos: https://www.rt.com/news/477319-franc...strike-record/



    __________________________________________________ ________




    France: Fires and violent clashes erupt as protesters
    march through Paris (Dec 28, 2019)




    Violence broke out during the 24th day of the pension strike in Paris on Saturday, which coincided with the 59th consecutive week of Yellow Vest protests. Footage shows riot police firing tear gas at protesters and using their batons on the Ruptly producer at the scene, as huge swathes of protesters took over the streets in the French capital. Several lay injured as protesters from several public sectors, including the transport sector, brought Paris to a standstill. Macron's government is aiming to introduce a universal pension system, but trade unions say that this will result in millions of private sector workers having to work beyond the legal retirement age in order to get a full pension. The reform will see many workers retire at 64 rather than the current 62 to earn their full pension. Talks between the government and unions are set to resume on January 7.

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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    19 Jan, 2020: Paris, France. Yellow Vests: week 62.

    Macron’s Pension Reform: 46th consecutive day of strikes.









    Operation Dead Ports makes Macron feel the worker’s strength [?]

    January 16, 2020

    Dockers have paralyzed the ports in response to the French government's intransigence.

    The dockers' strike keeps French ports blocked for the third consecutive day, an action that responds to the call made by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) to protest against President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform proposal.​​​

    "The strike is alive and it is also at the ports," the CGT Secretary Philippe Martinez said and added that a lot of citizens are not convinced that Macron's reforms are fair.

    The Corsica island has felt the effects of the "Dead Ports" strike that began on Tuesday [Jan 14, 2020] and will last until Friday.

    Le Havre, Rouen, Calais, and Dunkirk ports woke up without activity and no ships were loaded or unloaded.

    Similarly, in the west of the country, all the Saint Nazaire's terminals were paralyzed, something that did not happen in more than 10 years.

    In La Rochelle port, access to the refinery was also obstructed, preventing oil tankers from refueling. Near Bordeaux, the Bassens terminal has also remained blocked.

    The Marseille port was equally inactive, being docked all the ferries connecting the continent with Corsica, where food shortages are already evident.

    . . . Since President Macron has not offered satisfactory answers to people's requests, the main French labor unions convened a new nationwide mobilization on January 24, when it is expected that the Council of Ministers approves the reform proposal.

    https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/...0116-0006.html





    __________________________________________________ ___





    Union calls an end to Paris Metro strike after six weeks

    January 18, 2020

    Members of the Unsa rail union have voted to go back to work on Monday, after more than six weeks of strike action that has severely disrupted Paris public transport.

    Workers on the Paris Metro and the national SNCF rail network first walked out on December 5th in protest over the government's plans for pension reform.

    Since then, services on the public transport networks have been severely delayed, particularly during the early days of the strike when thousands of Parisians were forced to walk or cycle long distances to get to work.

    But on Saturday the Unsa-RATP union said it would be suspending strike action from Monday.

    Unsa is the largest union for employees of the Paris public transport provider RATP, so although other unions are continuing the strike, the return of Unsa members is likely to see services return to close to a normal level.

    https://www.thelocal.fr/20200118/uni...fter-six-weeks





    __________________________________________________ _______




    Are France’s unions even trying to win the General Strike?

    January 18, 2020

    by Ramin Mazaheri and crossposted with PressTV

    Due to a Western media blackout on the subject, many may be surprised to learn that France’s general strike has just begun its seventh consecutive week. It’s the longest labor movement in French history – and by half – but the Western Mainstream Media is ignoring France until this historic moment passes.

    It seems about to pass soon.

    French unions have done a woeful job leading the strike despite having everything going for them at the beginning.

    The alleged superiority of the so-called “independent” union model – favored by the West but opposed by any country with a revolution after 1917 – is once again failing the nation, if maybe not their dues-paying members.

    The general strike is wobbling, and by January 24th the pension bill will be formally presented to the government. It’s amazing rapacity, because presenting a bill amid such strikes is obviously rushing it into the safe arms of a system dominated by President Emmanuel Macron; it is also amazing duplicity, because Macron only released the pension scheme’s details just last week!

    Wasting time has been Macron’s main tactic during the general strike, despite the fact that workers and households are increasingly desperate after having gone without work for six full weeks. To be accurate, then: “wasting time” is not his tactic, but “increasing desperation”.

    A simple recipe for the Macron era is: increase desperation + trace amounts of democratic discussion + rubber bullets + total control over Parliament = Macron’s deification outside of France and his vilification inside France.

    read more



    from the comment section:

    Richard Sauder @Ramin Mazaheri

    Yes, Ramin, the unions are part of the corrupt MATRIX control system. They have too much invested in the status quo, political and economic control system(s) to break free of systemic slavery.

    The revolution is/will be mental and spiritual, not institutional and not religious either. Neither the press, nor the unions, nor the government, nor the church(es), nor the banking system are capable of, or interested in, reforming themselves.

    There will be no political party, no slate of reformist, political candidates, no “great” leader, no new political ideology that will reform the systemic, global, putrid rot. The massive criminal corruption is everywhere, in country after country, the world over.

    The way out is in, and few there be who find it.






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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Anti-Macron Protesters Cut Power Lines, Cause Massive Outages to Distribution, Trains, Suburbs

    In an escalation of protests against reforms being pushed by President Emanuel Macron, French union workers cut the power line to the world’s largest wholesale market in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

    A local energy branch of the far-left General Confederation of Labour Union (CGT), citing the pension reforms of President Macron, claimed responsibility for cutting a powerline that supplied energy to the Rungis International Market, a 234-hectare wholesale facility outside of Paris that does 9 billion euros in trade per year. The outage lasted 90 minutes at the market before generators kicked in.

    “We cut the power at the Rungis source substation this morning,” said union representative Franck Jouano, per Le Parisien.

    “Our goal is to mark the occasion symbolically because there is little talk of electricians and gas, who are affected by the reform. We also want to mobilize against this reform because the government does not react to the demonstrations”, he added.


    The power cut also shut down the rail shuttle service to Orly Airport, Paris’ second-largest airport, as well as affecting 11 different suburbs of Paris. Hotels in the areas impacted claim that customers were trapped inside elevators as a result of the power outage.

    Julien Denormandie, the City and Housing Minister, denounced the action as “scandalous” and “irresponsible”, saying that the unions “must stop these actions that degrade the climate of social dialogue”.


    The powerline sabotage is a clear escalation from France’s left-wing unions in the fight over pension reform, following a month of transit strikes and street protests against President Emanuel Macron’s proposed reforms.

    On Friday dozens of protestors shut down the Louvre, forcing the museum to close after several far-left unions called for public actions in response to Macron’s plan which they claim will “lower everyone’s pensions.”

    Later that evening President Macron was escorted out of a theatre in Paris after a group of protestors attempted to confront the French leader. The protestors stormed through a police line into the building chanting “Macron, resign!” and “We are here, even if Macron does not want us we are here”.

    Despite the protests, President Macron has held firm on his proposals, in which he would centralise the pension system that is currently spread out in dozens of different programs and provides special provisions for transit workers to retire in their 50s. Macron has also proposed to raise the age of pension eligibility from 62 to 64, in an attempt to keep more labourers in the workforce.


    Link: https://www.breitbart.com/europe/202...rains-suburbs/
    In hoc signo vinces / In this sign thou shalt conquer

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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    It is simple really if you control the narrative then you can control the mind of the people, and there goes free speech with this one precedent paving the way for future thoughts on the matter of migration.

    Thankfully the Yellow Vest movement is growing in support and Macron's support is waning in the polls.

    French Intellectual Sentenced to 2 Months in Prison For Calling Mass Immigration an “Invasion”

    Forced to pay 1800 euros to anti-racism organizations for his crime of opinion.

    French intellectual Renaud Camus has been given a 2 month suspended prison sentence for saying that mass immigration into Europe represents an “invasion.”

    Camus will only avoid jail by paying 1800 euros to two “anti-racist” organizations, SOS Racisme and the LICRA (International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism).

    The writer, who is the author of Le Grand Remplacement (The Great Replacement), was charged with “public incitement to hate or violence on the basis of origin, ethnicity, nationality, race or religion.”

    The conviction stems from a November 2017 speech in Colombey-les-deux Eglises to the National Council of European Resistance in which Camus declared, “Immigration has become an invasion.”


    “The irreversible colonization is demographic colonization, by the replacement of the population,” said the author, adding, “The ethnic substitution, the great replacement, is the most important event in the history of our nation since it has existed; as with other people, if the story continues, it will not be that of France.”

    Camus also called for a “national consensus of resistance” to oppose Islamization in “the struggle for the salvation of our common civilization, Celtic, Slavic, Germanic, Greek-Latin, Judeo-Christian.”

    The part of Camus’ speech that specifically garnered the attention of judges was when he talked about European people being replaced.

    Camus said mass immigration “is the substitution, the tendency to substitute everything with its emulator, normalized, standardized, interchangeable: The original with its copy, the authentic with its imitation, the true with the false, the mothers with surrogate mothers, the culture with free time and entertainment.”

    France suffers Islamic terror attacks on such a routine basis that it’s barely even an important news story anymore. Many of those terrorists are radicalized by mosques that escape any police scrutiny, but Camus must be punished for his crime of opinion.

    And there you have it. Free speech is now a crime in France.

    Link: https://summit.news/2020/01/21/frenc...n-an-invasion/
    Last edited by BMJ; 30th January 2020 at 01:04.
    In hoc signo vinces / In this sign thou shalt conquer

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    On the topic of Macron's waning public support, the people of France are disenchanted with the globalist puppet Macron making his failing support more good news for the people of France.

    Poll: 69 Per Cent of French Predict Macron Will Lose Next Election

    A poll has revealed that over two-thirds of the French public believe that current French President Emmanuel Macron will not be reelected in 2022.

    The poll, which was conducted by the Elabe Institute, reveals that the French president has lost voters since 2017 with just 74 per cent of people who voted for him in the first round of the presidential race saying they would do so again in 2022, BFMTV reports.

    Many French are becoming increasingly critical of the policies of Macron, as well, with 62 per cent saying they are disappointed and just 14 per cent stating they are satisfied by his term as president so far.

    While Mr Macron has, to date, not publicly addressed whether he will be seeking a second term as president, 69 per cent of the poll respondents said that they do not expect him to be able to win the 2022 election.


    Populist National Rally (RN) leader Marine Le Pen, who came in second in the 2017 election, announced her intentions to run for president again in 2022 earlier this month.

    Of those disappointed with Macron in the Elabe institute poll, Le Pen supporters polled the highest with 80 per cent expressing the sentiment, followed by 77 per cent of the supporters of far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon.

    The poll is another blow for Macron who has seen over a year of continues protests every week by the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement, with early protests threatening to topple the government.

    In recent weeks, France has been gripped with new protests over pension reform, with protesters closing down the famous Louvre museum last week following 44 consecutive days of protest.

    Last week also saw protesters attempt to storm a theatre in northern Paris which Macron was attending, forcing police to evacuate the French leader as police held back demonstrators.

    While Macron won the presidential elections and the subsequent parliamentary elections with his La Republique En Marche! (LREM) movement, his party lost the European Elections last year to Le Pen’s National Rally.

    Link: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2...next-election/
    In hoc signo vinces / In this sign thou shalt conquer

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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    The article describes the extent that George Soros influence which still exists within EU and how the globalist lead countries such as France are still complying with unelected officials will that goes against the national interest of the people of France. 2022 elections cannot come soon enough.

    France Must Disobey European Court of Human Rights, Le Pen Says After Soros ‘Ties’ to Judges Exposed

    A new report by a French lawyer claims that one in five judges that have sat on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the last decade had ties to a network of social justice organisations led by George Soros.

    Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s right-wing National Rally party, has called on Emmanuel Macron to stop abiding by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

    “Faced with these extremely serious revelations, [Emmanuel Macron] can no longer remain silent,” Le Pen tweeted on Wednesday, calling on France’s Court of Cassation and Council of State (a body advising the government on legal matters) to stop heeding the ECHR’s decisions.

    “A free state must act against these anti-democratic manipulations!” she added.

    Her comment came in response to a report by French lawyer Grégor Puppinck, who sits on the committee of experts on the reform of the ECHR and leads the European Centre for Law and Justice (click here to view).

    Undisclosed conflicts of interest?

    It claims that at least 22 of the 100 judges that had served on the ECHR between January 2009 and October 2019 had “strong links” to one of seven NGOs linked with George Soros prior to their appointment to the court, with roles varying from “official responsibilities” to “meaningful” participation in the activities of those organisations.

    Moreover, 18 of the 22 judges are said to have heard cases involving the NGO with which they had been involved – something that could amount to a conflict of interest.

    According to Puppinck, those NGOs are the AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe), Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, the Helsinki Committees for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Interights (International Centre for the Judicial Protection of Human Rights), and “various branches” of the Open Society Foundations itself.


    He said he had obtained most information about those links from the CVs of future judges published online by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

    The PACE elects judges to the ECHR from lists of three candidates proposed by each member state to the European Convention on Human Rights. Those judges hear cases as individuals and do not represent their state, which means that the candidates for the position typically come from NGOs and international bodies because they are more likely to be impartial.

    However, the report points out, that practice is “compounded by the importance of the presence and influence of certain NGOs in ‘small’ countries” like Albania, where the Open Society Foundations has spent $131 million since 1992 and where it secured two of the three candidates for an ECHR position in 2018.

    NGOs are also allowed to intervene in ECHR hearings as a third party, but Puppinck wrote that there is a lack of transparency around the extent of their real involvement with the court as well.

    What was the reaction in France?

    The report has been picked up by French conservative magazine Valeurs Actuelles, which claimed the 22 judges in question had allowed George Soros to effectively “infiltrate” the court and influence its decisions.

    The magazine cited rulings in favour of same-sex second-parent adoption in Austria and Greece; French male-to-female transgender persons who protested against the sterilising surgery required to have their new gender recognised; Russian activists from Pussy Riot who had a ‘punk prayer’ at a Russian Orthodox church; the review of whole life sentences in Hungary, and the application of Sharia law in Greece to solve inheritance disputes between Muslims.

    Jerome Riviere, a National Rally member and leader of the French faction in the Eurosceptic bloc Identity and Democracy in the European Parliament, told Valeurs Actuelles that he was “not surprised” with the report because George Soros “aims to destroy nations and, more broadly, all the structures which are the foundation of our civilisation: the family, the homeland, authority, love of one's history”.
    “The mere fact that a European Court of Justice can condemn nations is an anti-democratic scandal,” he said. “Unelected judges arrogate to themselves the power to assess and interpret, without constraint, a text that leads to the creation of law, when their role is merely to say what the law is.”


    Nicolas Bay, National Rally Secretary General and vice chair of Identity and Democracy, has said that France needs to “get out” of the court.

    “Guided by George Soros and his agenda to impose an ‘open society’, the ECHR has become the embodiment of the government of judges against the will of the people,” he noted. “In the light of these damning revelations, it is more than ever necessary to get out of it.”
    Philippe de Villiers, a former French MEP from the Eurosceptic Movement for France, said that Soros’s “ability to penetrate European bodies is due to the fact that it is globalised private interests that govern Europe.”

    “The Open Society Foundations is therefore more powerful than a country like France. George Soros is much more powerful than Emmanuel Macron,” he stated. “Moreover, the nickname given to him in Brussels speaks for itself: ‘the puppet master’.”


    The ECHR and the Open Society Foundations have yet to comment.

    Link: https://sputniknews.com/europe/20200...udges-exposed/
    In hoc signo vinces / In this sign thou shalt conquer

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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Saturday, March 14. Yellow Vests continue protests
    despite the ban on gatherings of over 100 people




    Yellow Vest protesters take to the streets of the French capital the day before the first round of France’s municipal elections.

    The protests are taking place despite the ban on gatherings of over 100 people announced by the government, amid precautionary measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.


    This may become explosive as the determination and strength of the Yellow Vests will be clashing with the (already existing and coming) precautionary measures (restriction to public life, reduced social interaction, self-isolation, quarantine, lock-down)
    Last edited by Iloveyou; 14th March 2020 at 12:27.

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