The French Movement, the “Yellow Gilets” has been tirelessly demonstrating throughout France without a break since 17 November 2018. On 1 December, it organized its second national demonstration in Paris.

This resulted in riots and arson. These started on the Champs-Élysées, and broke out in several other districts, right in the heart of Paris. During the afternoon, disorder spread to the South of France, erupting in the cities of Marseille and Avignon. This resulted in more than a hundred people being injured. For a hundred years, we haven’t seen anything like this.

So what is their grief? The demonstrators are speaking out about the abuse of the state’s tax power: mandatory taxes (dues and social costs) have ballooned by 30% over the last ten years. As a result, the living standards of social classes that are not globalized, have dropped drastically.

This Yellow Gilets Movement was created on Facebook in reaction to a spike in fuel tax. The movement lacks structure yet pimpernel-like, is dodging all control.

The forces maintaining order have been stumped and have no management plan. They have made heavy usage of tear gas grenades. As a result this type of material to maintain order is starting to dry up.

In contrast to Brexit in the UK, the election of Donald Trump in the US, and the anti-system coalition in Italy, this is the first non-pacific movement in the West against the effects of financial globalization.

Anoosha Boralessa