France’s Macron reeling as tough stance against ‘yellow vests’ backfires

France’s Macron reeling as tough stance against ‘yellow vests’ backfires, by Richard Lough.

Emmanuel Macron intended to start the new year on the offensive against the ‘yellow vest’ protesters. Instead, the French president is reeling from more violent street demonstrations.

What began as a grassroots rebellion against diesel taxes and the high cost of living has morphed into something more perilous for Macron — an assault on his presidency and French institutions.

The anti-government protesters on Saturday used a forklift truck to force their way into a government ministry compound, torched cars near the Champs Elysees and in one violent skirmish on a bridge over the Seine punched and kicked riot police officers to the ground.

The French authorities’ struggle to maintain order during the weekend protests raises questions not just over policing tactics but also over how Macron responds, as he prepares to bring in stricter rules for unemployment benefits and cut thousands of public sector jobs.

Why?

Driving the unrest is anger, particularly among low-paid workers, over a squeeze on household incomes and a belief that Macron is indifferent to citizens’ needs as he enacts reforms seen as pro-business and favoring the wealthy. …

Two months on, [Macron’s government] has not found a way to soothe the yellow vests’ anger and meet their demands, which include a higher minimum wage, a more participative democracy and Macron’s resignation.

With no clear leader, negotiating with the group is hard.

The globalist establishment in the West has become expert at decapitating opposing movements by starving potential leaders of publicity or else giving them lots of bad publicity (even if they have to make it up) to discredit them. So, as inevitably as evolution, they caused the rise of the leaderless movement. This might get interesting.