The French know their wines, their fine cuisine, and they know their popular insurrections.
Since French president Emmanuel Macron decided to ram through his deeply unpopular Pension Reform using the ‘nuclear option’ Article 49.3 to bypass the Parliament, the country has erupted in a scale not seen since the pre-COVID ‘Yellow Vests’ days.
And the situation does not give signs of calming down. ‘La jeunesse en soirée, les syndicats en journée’, is the word on the street: ‘the youth at night, the union members by day’.
And that’s how it’s going. The police tactic on Sunday was to bottle up and ‘trap’ the multitudes, keeping them from proceeding to the nervous center of the capital.
But on Monday night, highly movable groups turned the city into a burning inferno.
‘Police charges, traps, mass arrests. Violence added to the denial of democracy.’ The Lawyer Union of France called on the government ‘to put an immediate end to this escalation of violence’.
Tuesday morning France rose to find many roads and fuel depots blocked by angry workers, the most radical CGT federation members, who faced shock police head on.
The fuel shortage is escalating across the country. More than 1,600 stations are totally or partially out of service.
Operations ‘ville morte’ (dead city) are happening in Nantes and Lyon, the roads surrounding these cities are blocked in several key points.
You would imagine that this difficult situation would give pause to the Macron government and to Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, putting them on a conciliatory mood. You’d be wrong.
Following the rejection of the motion of censure, PM Borne was quick to assure the public that the government ‘has the right to use the word victory’.
As for Macron, Le Parisien reports: ‘Macron still wants to change his method after his pension reform. The president now wants to launch non-legislative measures that can change the daily lives of the French.’
Non-legislative measures? Many fear Macron may be preparing to govern by decree, as he reveals himself to be one of those rulers that would burn a country to the ground so that he could rule over the ashes.