A Vest to Breathe Better

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If it appears those dedicated to the movement of yellow vests have seemed to slow down, the protest it carries is also a breath of fresh air for a sleepy democracy that has forgotten its revolutionary origins.

Is it the approach of the holiday season, the weariness, all-legitimate protesters, or the announcements of the President of the Republic that are causing the weakness, however relative, the mobilization of vests Yellow Saturday, December 14 in Paris and that of December 22?

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There is not here, as often, a single explanation, but certainly the conjunction of the three parameters and others which unconsciously still elude us. However, while the movement now seems closer to the end than the beginning, and as eruptive as it was, one thing is sure: there is in France today a fringe of the population long ignored, at least neglected which made the Republic tremble.

Whatever President Macron and the Government may think, France has experienced one of its most violent and profound protests for many decades. As disorganized as it may have appeared, the movement has confirmed the strength of a France with which it will now be necessary to count.

Recovery and Forecasts

We can understand the lack of eagerness of the current power to respond to the injunctions of the demonstrators who call for a dissolution of the National Assembly because in view of the past month, nothing, absolutely nothing, cannot guarantee any result in a sense or in the other. And what about the claim for a Citizens' Initiative Referendum?


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Another lesson to be drawn from this crisis is the complete and total sinking of the political parties which, with or without finesse, have tried to recover a precisely irrecoverable movement because decerebrate, without official hierarchy or thinking head. The Yellow Vests, and this is their strength, are elusive because protean, unpredictable because devoid of any pre-established political logic.

Invisible in polls which are always quick to play the mediums, transparent in the political speeches of the current parties, Yellow Vests have thwarted all predictions. Politicians, media, pollsters, researchers, .... are all missing. The reasons: a movement as sudden as unknown, as volatile as incongruous, who rebelled against a rise deemed insupportable of the price of the fuels.


France Macron and France Yellow Vests


The French people, disciplined people as possible, often ready to accept everything, had until the eruption of the Yellow Vests, lost their revolutionary soul, itself undermined by the softness of the soft comfort that brought the State-Providence and the consumer society. But now, one day in November, the forgotten of the growth, the needy of France from below said that that was enough.

There is finally something refreshing in the Yellow Vests movement, apart from the unacceptable and intolerable violence that has tarnished the movement, namely this enthusiastic and protesting aspect, revolted and almost candid. Of course, some argue, and rightly so, that there are among them individuals with extreme political positions incompatible with the republican ideal.

This is right and it will be appropriate in the least to come to ensure that the extremist formations do not capitalize this discontent to their credit. Prudence in all popular movements is always necessary.


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However, Yellow Vests have been, and still are, a breath of fresh air for a democracy, ours, mired in a soothing routine that had forgotten what a real challenge could look like with its positives as negative. So let's keep only the positive!

 

Bio: Olivier Longhi has an extensive background in European History, a seasoned journalist with fifteen years’ experience, he is currently a professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held varies positions within the publishing field including head of agency and chief of publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, columnist and editorial project manager he has trained and directed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant and communication consultant.

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