Declaration of support for the Yellow Vests movements in France, Belgium and all over Europe

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The Yellow Vests movement, which emerged on November 2018, was born out of a catastrophic social and political situation throughout Europe, albeit to varying degrees: permanent austerity, privatization and liberalization of public services, destruction of social rights, authoritarianism and arrogance of the ruling elites. The movement is a revolt of the working classes, a cry of dignity in the face of the arrogant contempt of the powerful.

The movement demands a return to popular sovereignty over decisions about societal choices. It demands immediate improvements (reduction of the tax burden, return of wealth tax, referendum, etc.), demonstrating great determination both in its perseverance and in its modes of action.

The repression of the movement is as unprecedented as the movement: deaths, more than 2000 wounded on the side of demonstrators, limbs torn off and eyes lost through the massive use of highly controversial non-lethal weapons. Governments criminalize protest and drastically restrict the right to demonstrate (liberticidal laws are enacted throughout Europe, such as the so called anti-casseurs law in France)

The movement represents a challenge for social movement organizations. The demands, the speeches, the mode of organization and actions contrast with our habits.
Many contradictions cross the working classes. On the roundabouts (as in many organizations) racism, xenophobia and sexism are revealed. This should not be a repulsion, but on the contrary a call for participation and dialogue.

Therefore, we call on organizations and their members:
• to participate in the movement
• to nourish it and contribute to giving it political meaning
• to take solidarity actions in countries other than France and Belgium
• to promote cross-border actions

Call after the assembly of the assemblies in Commercy (26&27 January 2019)
Historical analysis by Gérard Noiriel (in EN)
Macron’s fuel tax was no solution to climate chaos by Maxime Combes

Call for international action: March 2 - Acte XVI