Over the weekend just passed two events that have un-organically taken place have bouldered me into a headspace that I can no longer ignore. On the 18th of April Irish Journalist ‘Lyra Mckee’ was heinously gunned down by a member of the nostalgically named ‘New IRA’ on the streets of Derry who were fighting against the British police carrying out a raid on dissident Republicans who were searching for guns and ammunition. Violent activity had risen since the anniversary of the 1916 easter rising when the Republicans carried out a rebellion to end the British rule In Ireland. Lyra was a deeply committed journalist who sought for nothing but truth in everything she researched and wrote about, such as the suppression of gay and lesbian rights in Ireland and also her still deeply eagered book ‘The Lost Boys’ detailing the plight that followed the many children and young men who’d disappeared in the alcoves of ‘the troubles’.
But the most devastating to me was the chronic rebellion of the ‘Gilet Jaunes’ (Yellow Vests) protests in France fighting against Macron’s destructive Labour reforms which are designed to give employers more autonomy to hire and fire at will with little concerns for a workers rights, as well as a massive hike in fuel taxation. The response to this economic melting pot has led up to bloody violence and arrests on the streets of Paris this weekend. This coupled with the bloody murder of Lyra I feel existential responses are vital to be carried out now, no more pussy footing at the base of this political reality any longer, get involved. After witnessing a new level of protests in France after the people realised the 1% had shown more compassion toward the burning of Norte Dame than the 9 million who live below the poverty line they knew they were only going to have their voices heard by force, and so force them they did. Scenes which could have easily been attributed to images of war in Syria were erupting all across France with protestors of the ‘Gilet Jaunes’ movement causing outbreaks of fire and violence against the now evident police state who were mobilised at the behest of President Macron to maintain his vision of a French Republic. Plutocratic by nature, much like the symbolism nurtured by Norte Dame.
Millions for Norte Dame, but nothing for us ”
The people of Paris on the weekend spoke like lions after just under 1 billion euros were donated to the architectural symbol of the French revolution that should be an image of solidarity for the most poverty stricken but instead stands as a insult from the Catholic Church, who aren’t short of a euro or two to cover their own expenses.
The French power structure of course is doing no different to what other controlling systems carry out when rebellion occurs, maintaining control of the information, mostly by violent means. Demands for an explanation have been called after two journalists were arrested over the 23rd weekend of protest with little reason for their charge. News freelancer Gaspard Glanz was carried away by police after simply raising a middle finger in response to being manhandled by a member of the Gendarme. A middle finger, nothing more. Video footage shows multiple officers pounce on an unarmed journalist who was simply exercising his right to freedom of speech, a liberty we would expect to be able to extend in a developed society. But of course as it has been shown since the protests began in November 2018 Macron has had other ideas to maintain his idea of peace.
Last year the students celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the ‘Mai 68’ revolts when the working class in the Latin quarter of Paris held assemblies in protest against the corruption and capitalism of a De Gaullist state. Now, half a century later the scenery hasn’t changed, merely the face of the presidency, nothing more. Corruption still continues, working people are still being oppressed with a sneer of the supposedly socialist leader, and the individuals who feel there is more that can be done are still out on the streets fighting for their future. If the protests were to cool down I have no doubt that President Macron, (Mini Napoleon as his critics moniker him) would issue in a fully automated police state in order to suppress any opportunity of revolt occurring again. This is why the movement needs to up their protests and have no notion that Macron might give in willingly. Keep on, press on, it’s only your future at steak.