Die Gelbwesten-Proteste in Frankreich dauern an. Wie ist die Stimmung unter den jungen Leuten? Eine persönliche Einschätzung
Sebastién Claudon, 27, geboren und aufgewachsen in Paris, hat sich zu den aktuellen Gelbwesten-Protesten in seinem Land Gedanken gemacht. Er lebt und arbeitet heute in Bordeaux. An den Demonstrationen nimmt er selbst aber nicht teil.
It feels like everybody must have an opinion concerning the yellow vests’ actions. Indeed, it appears to me like the famous “Revolution” against growing capitalism that we all felt coming is starting from what is going on right now.
One must consider that in France, the political fashion is going towards the extremes lately (the “left” towards communism and the “right” towards ultra-liberalism), and both extremes can lead to dangerous fascism. What angers the yellow vests the most is the hypocrisy of the government speakers who claim that their decisions will show success if people only wait, and present themselves in a charming way.
It is true that a vast majority of all French workers got to pay more and more taxes recently, slowly, but confirming itself year after year.
I personally think the “Teenadults”, the elderly, and the health caretaker class should be helped more than rich landowners, industry leaders and military investors. And by thinking that, I don‘t mean 300 Euros per month, neither officializing the “minimal income” which is being discussed here and there, but at least a little bit more financial help and some hope in joint investments in the future.There is a recent movement on social media called “the deal of the century” represented by Cyril Dion, a French ecological activist, and many celebrities. This movement aims to attack the government in court by the means of justice, for “inaction over global warming”. That is similar to what the Belgian people have done lately and obtained quick decisive ecological announcements. This is at least a sign of governmental flexibility regarding the promotion of polluting capitalist industries. “The deal of the century” has granted more than two Million signatures on the internet today. I signed it, too. I would say it is a healthy thing that this movement keeps going on. As, after all, we all have French Revolutionists’ blood running in ours. Especially in our minds and in our strong and beautiful complaining habits – no matter what decision was made by the government.
Concerning the impact of the strikes: it is obvious that the pacifist yellow vests movement has been polluted by extreme “breakers” as we call them in France, and extremists who always join the strikes and are probably the firsts to provoke the police’ s repressive acts. Still, I admit that those violent acts bring a certain “spectacular” visibility to the strikes all over Europe. I think it goes too far though, as I‘ve been shocked by the Triumphal Arch-vandalisms in Paris.
The restaurant where I currently work at is located 300 meters from the city hall in Bordeaux, where the strikes have been some of the most violent ones in the country. We had to close the restaurant on two Saturdays in December. These actions make me look at the people participating at the strike as real “strangers” in comparison to my behaviour.
Personally, I‘m not afraid at all these days, but it feels like something scripted is happening. It appeared that our Saturday strikes, which have become a habit, have the power to bring people together. I mean, really together as it has even become a kind of a weekly party for some of the yellow vests. Obviously, this movement brings a huge percentage of us citizens together, even more than ever before. But I don’t think it should be compared to our famous “May ’68” student movement, because they have nothing in common: different demands; different context. I also think that the strikes won‘t stop until summer because a real commitment is born in the people’ s habits to the big “too much” they want to express to the government.
This Saturday, once again, I know that I won’t be able to rely on public transport or car traffic. I cannot go to public libraries or museums in town. Adding to the red and blue police lights and the helicopters above us all day, this gives a super-dramatic atmosphere: it feels like something is happening.