Statement on the French revolt by the International Workers Union-Fourth International (IWU-FI):
“Paris burns” has been the headline of different journalistic media, reflecting the consequences of the popular demonstration of the so-called “yellow vests” on Saturday, 1 December in the capital of France. Thousands, on the streets of Paris and across the country, faced and overflowed the police repression of the conservative government of Macron.
There were hundreds of detainees and about a hundred injured. It was the highest point of a protest that began days ago against the attempt by Macron’s government of to increase fuel, which would go from € 0.80 to € 1.30, which would lead to a general increase in prices. Throughout the week, barricades were maintained at toll booths and blockades to fuel farms.
The rebels, without leadership or a recognized trade union or political organisation, are identified with yellow vests, which are of obligatory use in French roads. Most of them are popular sectors of towns and cities who use their cars and motorcycles to go to work.
This increase in fuel is part of the capitalist adjustment measures that Macron has been applying. The workers and the people of France have suffered a deterioration of their living conditions. The increases are not only found in the energy sector but also in the basic basket where, for example, legumes, butter and potatoes have increased between 9 and 11.2 percent. Previously, Macron sought a labour reform against railway and public service workers.
This popular rebellion took place just when in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the G20 met with the presence of Trump. Merkel, Macron, May, Erdogan, Xi Jimping, Putin, Macri, and Temer. They are imperialism, the IMF and its capitalist governments that, in the name of the multinationals and financial capital, agree on new adjustments measures against the working class and the peoples of the world.
The rebellion of the “yellow vests” is part of the same struggle the peoples of the world are carrying out against the IMF, foreign debt or the attack on wages and pensions. Therefore, the revolutionary socialists of the IWU-FI stand in solidarity with this struggle to defeat this increase in fuel.
The protesters also expressed hatred for the capitalist government of Macron and many claimed “Macron resignation”. The severity of the adjustment measure and the repression make it necessary for the “yellow vests” to join the workers, the women, and the French youth to demand from the trade union centrals that a general strike be called against the adjustment measures and the government of Macron .
We call for the widest international solidarity in support of the popular mobilisation of France against the increase of fuel, for the freedom of the demonstrators and against repression.
International Workers Unity – Fourth International (IWU-FI)
1 December 2018