Few saw coming. That some day, somewhere, would explode the malaise diffuse that exists in France, with the president and Emmanuel Macron, and with the political and economical elites, could be predictable. But that the weariness may be expressed in this way no one, anticipated. The barricades burned in the Fields-Élysées in Paris, during a demonstration little busy this Sunday, highlighted the difficulty of managing a movement from a week ago has led to thousands of French protest in roundabouts, roads and highways throughout the country.
The trigger of the movement of the yellow vests —the pledge mandatory in all cars in France— was the increase in the price of diesel, the fuel up to now cheaper and that, in January of 2019, almost will match with the price of gasoline. But the rebellion goes beyond that.
#giletsjaunes on the Champs-Elysées pic.twitter.com/Bgvi2V9d9n— Marc Bassets (@marcbassets) November 24, 2018
No leader or ideology, it may not be more than one of these expressions regular of the unhappy French. Or it might represent, finally, the arrival of the moment populist French other western countries have already lived, and that France dodged with the victory of the Macron in the presidential elections of 2017.
on Wednesday night, the thermometer marked zero degrees, and a hundred of yellow vests gathered in the access to highway a-16, which leads to the tunnel under the English channel, in Calais. Hostile to the press, that considered manipulative, the yellow vests of Calais agreed to talk when they knew that the journalist was overseas. Among them mingled voters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the exsocialista that leads the French party equivalent to we Can, with the voters of Marine Le Pen, president of the Regroupement National, heir of the National Front, old party of the extreme right.
Under the gaze of the riot police, who prevented them from cutting off access to the A.-16, is formed gatherings. The claims were heterogeneous. “Here there are no bosses. We are the people”. “We are against globalization and capitalism.” “BFMTV [the chain of continuous information] is the tele Macron”. “He is the president of the very, very rich.” “Insults us down, it humbles us”. “Think more in Europe than in the French people”. “Resign”.
Affrontement currently sur les Champs-Elysées pic.twitter.com/zzy1QYis4Q— France Gilets Jaunes (@Novembre2018) November 24, 2018
The price of the gasoil or diesel is the flag of the middle classes who feel lost foot: the France of those who need the car to move in your everyday life and you don't get to the end of the month. It is the France of the car with diesel —mid-sized cities and small, poorly connected Bahsegel by public transport— every day more and more away from the France of the metro, the bicycle and the scooter. The France of the provinces against that of the bourgeoisie cosmopolitan large cities that go to the France peripheral as an exotic country.
The fracture is territorial, between large and small cities. And is policy: between France's Macron —the young politician who believed that, by destroying the old structures of party, could end the eternal pessimism of French— and that, or stayed home in the last presidential election, or voted in the ends. It is also a fracture of the ideological: the struggle against climate change, should it punish those who use the car? How much are you willing to pay the French to preserve the environment? And, do you have to pay the most humble?
The fracture opposed to two countries that do not understand. The misunderstanding can be transformed into a sense of grievance and contempt classist toward the France of the ringards and beaufs —the matter and the brothers-in-law, in popular jargon— and to “the guys who smoke cigarettes and go with diesel,” as they called the Government spokesman, Benjamin Griveaux.MORE INFO photo gallery in Protest of the ‘yellow vests’ in Paris, in photos Dies a protester run over and killed in the protests against the rise of fuel in France
The yellow vests escape for the whole catchment partisan. Le Pen and Mélenchon trust to capitalize on the discontent, as Laurent Wauquiez, the leader of The Republicans, but go with care. The episodes of violence, and some words and racist incidents in the concentrations have been served the most macronista to alert you of drift extremist.
The added difficulty, for Macron, is that he has no partners. There are No trade unions behind. Who should meet, if you wanted to negotiate? The president has already overcome the protests by the labor law that streamlined the dismissal and the reform of the SNCF, the public railways. On Tuesday submit proposals. The mantra government argues that Macron listens to the discontent but kept his reforms.
France —also the elites— look at the yellow vests with a mixture of concern and interest: to the end of the day, the opinion polls reveal that the majority of the French sympathize with them. Few saw it coming; no one knows where they are going.Barricades on fire on the Champs Elysées
it was Not the great mobilization that some expected. The arrival in Paris of the so-called yellow vests was modest. But rugged. Some 8,000 people took part yesterday in the unauthorized demonstration on the Champs Elysées, the avenue next to the Elysee Palace, seat and residence of Macron. In the rest of the country mobilized a 106.000. Last week were 280.000.
The incidents —barricades set on fire, tear gas, 42 detained— marked the protest in the capital. The minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, said that groups of ultra-right had been infiltrated. And accused Marine Le Pen of stoke whom he called “the traitors” to suggest to them that they were to the Champs-Elysées instead of the designated area, the Field of Mars, farther away from the presidential palace. Le Pen was accused of “manipulation politiquera”.