Yellow Vests Struggle to Reinvent Democracy

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1807 ... April 17, 2019

Yellow Vests Struggle to Reinvent Democracy:
Macron Cranks Up Propaganda and Repression

Richard Greeman

After five months of constant presence at traffic circles, toll-booths, and hazardous Saturday marches, the massive, self-organized social movement known as the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) has just held its second nationwide "Assembly of Assemblies." Hundreds of autonomous Yellow Vest activist groups from all over France each chose two delegates (one woman, one man) to gather in the port city of St. Nazaire for a weekend of deliberation (April 5-7).

After weeks of skirmishing with the municipal authorities, the local Yellow Vests were able to host 700 delegates at the St. Nazaire "House of the People," and the three-day series of general meetings and working groups went off without a... hitch in an atmosphere of good-fellowship. A sign on the wall proclaimed, "No one has the solution, but everybody has a piece of it."

Their project: mobilize their "collective intelligence" to reorganize, strategize, and prolong their struggle. Their aim: to achieve the immediate goals of livable wages and retirements; restoration of social benefits and public services like schools, transportation, post offices, and hospitals; taxing the rich; ending fiscal fraud in order to pay for preserving the environment; and, most ambitious of all, reinventing democracy in the process. Their Declaration ends with the phrase "government of the people, by the people, and for the people." I wonder if they know who coined it.

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