Yellow vests are popping up everywhere. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
The Yellow Vest anti-government movement started in France on November 17, when over 300,000 people across France protested a carbon tax on fuel that French President Emmanuel Macron touted as evidence of France’s leadership when it comes to mitigating climate change.
The Yellow Vest protests quickly evolved into a general anti-government movement – with hundreds of thousands of angry French citizens taking to the streets for ten straight weeks of mostly peaceful protests marked with pockets of violence, looting and mayhem.
What’s more – the movement has gone worldwide – with perhaps the most notable protests outside France taking place in Belgium, where Brussels riot cops have dealt with week after week of protesters blocking oil depot and throwing hard objects at them.
An entire class of French people are tired of being treated as second-class citizens. From Christopher Guilluy at spiked-online.com:
The gilets jaunes (yellow vest) movement has rattled the French establishment. For several months, crowds ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands have been taking to the streets every weekend across the whole of France. They have had enormous success, extracting major concessions from the government. They continue to march.
Back in 2014, geographer Christopher Guilluy’s study of la France périphérique (peripheral France) caused a media sensation. It drew attention to the economic, cultural and political exclusion of the working classes, most of whom now live outside the major cities. It highlighted the conditions that would later give rise to the yellow-vest phenomenon. Guilluy has developed on these themes in his recent books, No Society and The Twilight of the Elite: Prosperity, the Periphery and the Future of France. spiked caught up with Guilluy to get his view on the causes and consequences of the yellow-vest movement.
spiked: What exactly do you mean by ‘peripheral France’?
Christophe Guilluy: ‘Peripheral France’ is about the geographic distribution of the working classes across France. Fifteen years ago, I noticed that the majority of working-class people actually live very far away from the major globalised cities – far from Paris, Lyon and Toulouse, and also very far from London and New York.
Technically, our globalised economic model performs well. It produces a lot of wealth. But it doesn’t need the majority of the population to function. It has no real need for the manual workers, labourers and even small-business owners outside of the big cities. Paris creates enough wealth for the whole of France, and London does the same in Britain. But you cannot build a society around this. The gilets jaunes is a revolt of the working classes who live in these places.
They tend to be people in work, but who don’t earn very much, between 1000€ and 2000€ per month. Some of them are very poor if they are unemployed. Others were once middle-class. What they all have in common is that they live in areas where there is hardly any work left. They know that even if they have a job today, they could lose it tomorrow and they won’t find anything else.
Financial nuclear warheads.
The mainstream media has degenerated irreparably. Here’s a reliable rule of thumb: if it’s important it’s not covered; if it’s covered it’s not important. Stories in the American mainstream press about Yellow Vest protests have been few. One aspect of the protests, transcendently important, has received scant coverage.
The Yellow Vest protestors have called for a coordinated run on French banks. Whether they realize it or not, they’re playing with nuclear warheads that could annihilate not just the French, but Europe’s and the entire world’s financial system. Because inextricably linked to the ends of contemporary governments―how much they can screw up the lives of those who must live under them—is the question of means―how do they fund their misrule? The short answer is taxes and debt.
Since 1971, when President Nixon
“temporarily” suspended international convertibility of dollars for gold (it’s never been reinstated), the monetary basis of the global economy has been fiat debt. Neither government or central bank debt nor currencies are tethered to any real constraint, like precious metals (see “Real Money,” SLL). Thus, politicians and monetary officials can create as much debt as they want: debt by fiat.
Government and central bank debt is at the apex of the global debt pyramid. The next tier is commercial banks that have accounts at central banks. Those accounts are bank assets and central bank liabilities, or debts. Central banks expand their fiat liabilities to banks in exchange for banks’ fiat government debt, an exchange called debt monetization, which is a bit of a misnomer since no “Real Money” is involved. The “monetization” is the central bank’s fiat expansion of banks’ accounts with the central bank in exchange for fiat government debt, which expands banks’ assets available for loans to governments, businesses, and individuals.
Posted in banking, Business, Civil Liberties, Collapse, Currencies, Debt, Economics, Economy, Financial markets, Governments, History, Insurrection, Media, Money, Politics
Tagged Bank Runs, Real money, revolution, Yellow Vest protests
One impetus behind the Yellow Vest movement is to restore real democracy to a country that has become a democracy in name only. From Diana Johnstone at unz.com:
Gilets Jaunes song performed at French traffic circle: Les Gentils et les Méchants
Paris, France, 9 January 2019
French Democracy Dead or Alive? Or perhaps one should say, buried or revived? Because for the mass of ordinary people, far from the political, financial, media centers of power in Paris, democracy is already moribund, and their movement is an effort to save it. Ever since Margaret Thatcher decreed that “there is no alternative”, Western economic policy is made by technocrats for the benefit of financial markets, claiming that such benefits will trickle down to the populace. The trickle has largely dried up, and people are tired of having their needs and wishes totally ignored by an elite who “know best”.
President Emmanuel Macron’s New Year’s Eve address to the nation made it perfectly clear that after one unconvincing stab at throwing a few crumbs to the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) protest movement, he has determined to get tough
France is entering a period of turmoil. The situation is very complex, but here are a few points to help grasp what this is all about.
The Yellow Vests gather in conspicuous places where they can be seen: the Champs-Elysées in Paris, main squares in other cities towns, and the numerous traffic circles on the edge of small towns. Unlike traditional demonstrations, the Paris marches were very loose and spontaneous, people just walking around and talking to each other, with no leaders and no speeches.
The globalist-inspired European integration dream is crumbling. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
Europe’s dreams of integration are slipping away as the people wake up from the nightmare erected for them.
As we approach Act IX of the Yellow Vest protests in France and the threats of creating bank runs we get the news that both Presidents Trump and Macron will not be attending the convocation of globalists known as the World Economic Forum at Davos.
Trump’s not attending because it’s clear he’s no longer a member of The Davos Crowd and Macron isn’t because any public appearance by him will double the number of people donning high visibility safety gear and taking to the streets.
It almost feels like we’ve reached Peak Davos, with these announcements. But, clearly neither of these men are invited because in the minds of The Davos Crowd they no longer figure in their long-term plans.
Macron not attending is also a sign his government will be sacrificed on the altar of the Yellow Vests in the near future.
The Yellow Vest protests will have to be dealt with in a substantive manner that goes far beyond a few temporary injunctions against higher taxes. They are now vandalizing another symbol of middle class oppression in France, speed cameras.
All of the governments of Europe are broke. And the speed camera is simply another in a long line of instances of them trying to squeeze blood from the now impoverished and shrinking middle class.
Posted in banking, Business, Debt, Economy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Insurrection, Labor, Politics
Tagged Davos, Europe, European integration, Yellow Vest protests
You won’t see much in the mainstream media about the Yellow Vests’ planned bank runs, but it may be the most important aspect of their protests. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Activists from the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement have vandalized nearly 60% of France’s country-wide speed camera network, according to Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, who said that the wilful damage was a threat to road safety and endangered lives, according to the BBC.
The BBC’s Hugh Schofield, in Paris, said evidence of the vandalism is visible to anyone driving around France, with radar cameras covered in paint or black tape to stop them working. But the extent of the damage – now believed to affect more than half of all 3,200 speed cameras in the country’s network – was unknown until Mr. Castaner’statement on Thursday.
He said the devices had been “neutralised, attacked, or destroyed” by members of the protest movement. –BBC
Speed limits in France have become a hot-button topic, after the Macron government lowered the limit on many roads from 90 km/h (55 mph) to 80 km/h (50 mph) early last year.
Yellow Vest protesters upset over an increase in fuel taxes have also complained about the rising costs of commuting for those who can’t afford to live near urban centers where they work – citing speed cameras and toll roads in their complaints.
While the Yellow Vest movement has been taking to the streets for violent clashes with French police, activists from the movement are now recommending that French protesters empty their bank accounts to spark a bank run – in a move which one protester, Maxime Nicolle, called a “tax collector’s referendum.”
The Yellow Vest protests are unique in a number of ways, and they’re probably harbingers of things to come. From Claudio Grass at lewrockwell.com:
When the first demonstrations on the streets of Paris were reported seven weeks ago, nobody could have foreseen the endurance, the tenacity and the viral effect of the Yellow Vests movement. After all, the French are known to protest and to strike, it’s part and parcel of their culture. However, by the time this article is being written, protests, marches and demonstrations have broken out in a multitude of European cities.
Why was it different this time?
To begin with, it is worth taking a closer look at the situation in France, the point of origin of this “contagion”. There are a few very important elements that set the Yellow Vests apart from past protesters. For one thing, unlike previous demonstrations, this one wasn’t led by the unions, nor was it organized by any identifiable political body. The protesters had no unified or homogenous political beliefs, party affiliations or ideological motivations. In fact, through interviews and public statements of individuals taking part in the demonstrations, it would appear that any organized elements, or members of the far-left or the far-right were a slim minority among the protesters. And while those few were the ones largely involved in the violent clashes with the police and the destruction of private and public property, the crushing majority of the Yellow Vests were peaceful, non-violent and largely unaffiliated with any particular political direction.
Posted in Business, Collapse, Crime, Cronyism, Debt, Economics, Economy, Governments, Insurrection, Law, Politics
Tagged Emmanuel Macron, France, Yellow Vest protests