Commercy “yellow vest” protesters hold second Popular Assembly
24 December 2018
On December 21, WSWS reporters traveled to the 2nd Popular Assembly held by the “yellow vests” in the city of Commercy in north-eastern France. Over 100 workers, contractors, small businesspeople and unemployed gathered there to discuss perspectives for a struggle against French President Emmanuel Macron.
This assembly, organized by working people against the entire political establishment and the union bureaucracy was an important experience of the international working class. It shows how workers and layers of oppressed people allied to them can take their struggles out of the hands of the union bureaucracies and capitalist politicians. If such assemblies spread across France and Europe, under conditions where a Marxist vanguard provided them a revolutionary perspective, they could serve as organs of the working class to which state power could be transferred.
Despite the media denunciations of “yellow vests” as ignorant and destructive rioters, the assembly organized three hours of intensive discussion on two subjects: the concessions Macron claims to have given to convince them to end the movement, and the perspective for a transfer of power to the people.
The meeting first screened a video that tore apart Macron’s supposed promise to increase the minimum wage. This measure is in fact temporary, carried out by increasing bonuses, and financed via debt and cuts to spending on public services; and since Macron is also still slashing taxes on the rich and offering tens of billions of euros in corporate tax handouts, the concession is in fact unsatisfactory, according to the video. This analysis was widely shared inside the assembly.
A discussion followed of…