Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jan 29 10:47:00 MST 2019

(From David McDonald on FB)


Note by David:

Many many have wondered about the politics of the Gilets Jaunes because 
their protests have been so elemental and hostile to the existing 
political forces. Some, like Kester Ratcliff, have decided the GJ are 
unalterably right-wing in nature, but he's not the only one.

Below, my Parisian correspondent summarizes and translates various 
portions of the statement issued by the first Assembly of the Assemblies 
in Commercy that ought to lay such fears to rest and inspire admiration 
and solidarity for the Gilets Jaunes. Do note that this (so far) most 
authoritative communication from the assembled GJ calls for a general 
strike on February 5.

Last weekend more than 350 delegates came to the first
Assembly of the Assemblies taking place in Commercy (Lorraine). They 
represented 75 assemblies from across the country.

[The Assembly adopted on Sunday a text to present to local assemblies 
for discussion and adoption.
I translated some excerpts: -- my correspondent talking]

We, Gilets Jaunes from traffic circles, parking lots, town squares, 
assemblies, protests, we gathered on the 26 and 27 of January 2019 ...

Since November 17, from the smallest village in rural areas to the 
biggest city, we rose up against this most violent, unjust and 
unbearable society... [We want] for our families and children to live in 
dignity. 26 billionaires own as much as half of mankind, we can't accept 
that... End social inequality! We demand the immediate raise of wages, 
minimum social incomes, pensions..., the unconditional right to housing 
and health care, education, free public services for all. It's for these 
rights that ... we organize these actions, protests ... With our yellow 
vests we reclaim our right to be heard, we who are never heard. ... the 
government's response? Repression, contempt, vilifying us... A few died 
and thousands where injured, weapons were massively used at close 
range... More than 1,000 were convicted and are in jail. And now this 
so-called anti-casseur law*, whose real aim is to deny us the right to 
protest... To protest is a fundamental right. End the impunity of the 
police forces!

Amnesty for all the repression victims! And what a sham this 'great 
debate' ... The real democracy, we are practicing it in our assemblies, 
our traffic circles...

The demands and strategic proposals most discussed [in local assemblies] 
include: eradication of poverty in all its manifestations; 
transformation of the institutions (RIC, Constituent Assembly; end the 
privileges of those elected [MPs, senators, ...]); environmental 
transition; equal rights for all, whatever their nationality, whether 
valid or handicapped, man/woman; end the abandonment of 'quartiers 
populaires' [working-class ghettos], rural areas and the overseas 
departments and territories [Martinique, Guadeloupe, Reunion ...]

We call to pursue the Acts [Saturday protests] (Act XII against police 
brutality outside police stations, Act XIII, XIV, ...), continue 
occupying traffic circles, block the economy, build a massive renewable 
strike, starting February 5.

Form committees in workplaces, schools, and elsewhere so that this 
strike can be built at the grassroots level by the strikers 
themselves... Don't stay isolated, join us! We propose to all the Gilets 
Jaunes to circulate this resolution.
If you---as a group of gilets jaunes---approve it, send your signature 
to Commercy. Don't hesitate to discuss and express proposals for the 
future assembly of the assemblies, that we are already preparing.

Note [by my correspondent]
* casseur: literally the one who smash [windows]---refers to those who 
smash stores/banks windows, ...
Under this (newly adopted by the Parliament) law anyone deemed a 
'casseur' by the authorities can be banned from demonstrations. The 
government also plans on intensifying searches, criminalizing 
protesters, ... Marine Le Pen, who likes to portray herself as a 
supporter of the Gilets Jaunes, immediately announced that she would 
vote for the law.

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