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December 05, 2018

French Police Union Calls Upon Non-Essential Personnel to Strike This Saturday, In Support of the Yellow Jackets

The Vigi-Ministere d'Interieur describes itself, on its twitter page, as:

Union of personnel of of all groups and all ranks of the Ministry of the Interior and the Police National. Protect colleagues and not the Administration.

They tweeted:

Which means:

Warning of an unlimited strike filed to start 8 December. Same fight as that of the Yellow Jackets for [retaining/increasing] purchasing power. Messeiurs Castaner and Macron, you are going to finally hear us.

A couple of points: I think you have to file with the government for strikes in France, hence the reference to "filed." Also, I don't know for a fact, but I imagine an "unlimited strike" is where you walk off the job entirely, as opposed to a limited one, which would be tactical absenteeism/deliberate slowdowns, of the "Blue Flu" variety.

But I don't know.

From L'Express:

The Union of Police, Vigi-Ministere de l'Interieur, has filed a notice for an unlimited strike to start Saturday December 8.

The union of police and administrative personal Vigi-Ministere [etc.; hereafter, Vigi] rallies to the side of the Yellow Jackets. The union as filed this Tuesday a notice for an unlimited strike to begin Saturday December 8 2018, for personnel in administrative, technical, or scientific areas, office workers and cooks of the police national, the same day of "Act IV" of the Yellow Jackets in Paris."

"The demands made by the Yellow Jacket movement, concern us all. It is time to organize legally and be in solidarity with them, for the benefit of all. We are concerned because we are part of the people."


The union has its own beefs with the government over pay increases, overtime pay, and the price of gas.

"Active duty personnel not having the right to strike, we scheme [their word! Maybe it doesn't have quite the same meaning in French!] to call a strike for the support personnel who do have the right," explained Alexandre Langlois, the secretary general of Vigi, contacted by the Express. "There's a true boiling point among the police, and most of them are in solidarity with the movement," he declared.

I saw another website which quoted him further as saying: "Without technical staff and without kichen workers, the CRS companies would be immoblized."

The mention of the French CRS in this context is especially interesting. Wikipedia says this of the CRS:

The Compagnies Republicaines de Securite, abbreviated CRS, are the general reserve of the French National Police. They are primarily involved in general security missions but the task for which they are best known is crowd and riot control.

Related: The French government has extended the suspension of the increase in gas and diesel taxes through all of 2019, instead of just for six months.

More: Good post about the the meltdown in Western Europe.

This isn't 1968. This is no ordinary development. Reportedly, 84% of French people in the latest poll support the protests, and their top concerns are the burdensome "climate" regulations, which are undermining every aspect of their economic lives, and the uncontrollable social impacts of mass migration into their country. As Alain said to Rebel media in the video, they've simply had enough.

Notably, their country is seen as a refuge for others. But for the French, there is no refuge from policies that are destroying their way of life -- because the EU idea is designed to deny them any such shelter. That is its very purpose.

In fact, the political idea to which the UN migration compact bears the most resemblance is the EU's. Both are about a systematic undoing of borders and denial of local discretion over boundaries and standards.

Yet the protests don't articulate that clearly. They are more of a cri de coeur against side effects than a forensic political manifesto against a misguided treatment regimen. It's as if no one has the political language now in which to articulate such a manifesto. Nothing that's real fits what we know how to talk about.

There is much more to say on this topic. To say it in an organized way would take longer than I have tonight. I don't see this in Eastern Europe, nor necessarily in all of Western Europe. But in the northwest from which the Western culture of today has most recently been incubated -- Germany, France, the UK, and the British Isles, the Low Countries, Scandinavia -- my eyes perceive a grand derangement: a great disordering. Among the national leaders, there is a strange mix of obsession and fecklessness, as if they can't help themselves, and can't stop doing things that don't even make sense.

By the way, some are arguing that the Yellow Jackets are no friends of the right because they're pro-socialist. Undoubtedly, many are: These protests attract a wide swath of support, 78% in the latest poll (!!! -- a bit different from the 84% the article mentions). Of course there are super-socialists in a movement so large.

But this is widely described as a very "unorganized" and even "apolitical" rebellion as well. I'm not sure you could actually find some coherent political agenda -- in "traditional vocabulary," as this author says -- that describes even half of those part of the movement.

What it is a rebellion against the way things are now. That seems to be the only definite point of wide agreement. I don't know if there is much agreement on what should come next.

It's always a bit silly to project one's own political agenda on to some foreign tumult one knows little about, but I think this might just be an expression of inchoate rejection of an incestuous and incompetent "elite" which is now as insulated from the people they're supposed to represent as alien overseers controlling an entirely separate species.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 04:41 PM

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