“Macron is the president of the rich”: “Yellow Vest” protesters speak out
20 November 2018
On Monday, the powerful protests in France against inequality and government austerity continued in numerous regions across the country. Tens of thousands of participants in the “Yellow Vest” demonstrations maintained roadblocks and barricades. Traffic was heavily affected in the major cities. Bordeaux was practically brought to a standstill throughout the morning, and numerous important highways were blocked off.
Dozens of fuel depots were affected by the actions, including in Toulouse and Rennes. On Réunion Island, barricades remained in place yesterday, with tense standoffs between demonstrators and police and calls by the local police prefecture for reinforcements from Paris. Many of the protesters have declared they intend to “continue until the government gives in.”
Employer associations warned yesterday against a “shutdown of the economy.” However, as the transportation companies call for workers to stay away from the demonstrations, large numbers of drivers are supporting or joining it. A roadblock has already been called for Saturday in Paris.
Last night, the Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, announced his plan to break the roadblocks, invoking “major security risks, particularly of terrorism,” to which the “massively mobilized” police forces would be unable to respond.
The protest movement, which includes workers, independent truck drivers and small businesspeople, was initiated via social media outside the control of the trade unions, which collaborate with the government in imposing austerity. It raises burning political issues.
To move forward, the movement must turn to the working class, the only social force…