The “gilets jaunes” movement as seen by the French-language Saker Blog
The “gilets jaunes” movement as seen by the French-language Saker Blog by Le Saker Francophone for The Saker
The genesis of the yellow vests
Back to French presidential election in 2002, second round, Chirac won against Le Pen (father) 82% vs 18%, same scenario in 2017, second round, Macron won against Le Pen (daughter) 55% versus 34%
Just after the presidential election comes the choice for the legislative assembly. In 2002, after Chirac’s victory, his political party, UMP, won 356 seats (62%), while Le Pen’s (father) party (Front National) got nothing, not a single representative. In 2017, after Macron’s success, his totally new party, out of thin air, LREM, who did not even exist in previous elections, won 308 seats (53%) and Le Pen’s (daughter) party won 8 seats (1,3%).
So in the first round of 2002, with 20% of voters in the presidential election, Chirac’s party obtained 62% of the parliament, while Le Pen, with 17% of the voters was not represented.
The same outcome occurred in 2017. Macron with 24% of voters in the first round obtained 53% of the parliament, while Le Pen, with 21% had only 1.3% representatives for his party in parliament.
Basically, in France, one citizen in three has no political existence.
These people are now in the street with a massive support of the rest of the population.
Why this brand “yellow vest” ?
This vest is worn by working class people acting in a dangerous environment. The yellow color makes the person more visible, you can interpret this fact in a symbolic way, meaning politically visible.
Formerly, that sort of vest was used by servants in the upper class.
On december 3, the french media Le Figaro published an article entitled
The Yellow vest movement is a reaction against such an historical regression
Who are these people
Just have a look to that video report
The chronology of the “acts” and the political evolution of the movement
Two hundred years ago the yellow vests’ ancestors went as far as beheading their own king. Since then, France is well known for being a country of strikes and demonstrations, often unfruitful.
But this one seems to be « the right one », the one that will bring effective changes. This movement seems to have reached a level of maturity lacking in previous events. Today, every age is affected, from students to retired people, every class, from unemployed to small businessmen. We can observe much more women participating too. The movement started, as usual, with financial claims but soon turned to political claims, demanding more political decision-making power to be given to the population through the use of extensive referendums. Another characteristic of this movement is that it is genuinely popular, not partisan, and refuses to have any political party officially join it, showing its full distrust in all the traditional political apparatus. It does not want leaders and just allows some “porte paroles” to speak in its name.
Therefore, every Saturday to allow the employed to participate, the French wear their yellow vest – the one they are obliged to keep in their car and use in case of breakdowns – and gather in city streets, on highways tolls, on countryside “ronds-points” [crossroads]. They are not only gathering in Paris, as mainstream medias would like to make their readers believe, but in every major city or town, all around France and particularly in remote parts of the country where the government is closing schools, hospitals and public services because they are unable to make profit on it, as if they were built on tax payer’s money to make short term profit and not to educate and tend to the population in the long term.