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December 07, 2018

"Black Saturday"? France Mobilizes 65,000 Security Forces In Anticipation of "Enormous Violence" in "Act IV"

A little update: Since this article, the number of security forces deployed in anticipation of "Black Saturday" increased from 65,000 to 89,000.

Le Figaro:

"Yellow Jackets:" How France Is Beefing Up Security for Saturday

Fearing that an "enormous violence" will be part of "Act IV" of the mobilization of the "Yellow Jackets," authorities have announced the mobilization of "exceptional measures" of more than 65,000 security forces deployed throughout France, and putting the finishing touches the security presence already in Paris.

As the fourth Saturday of mobilization of the "Yellow Jackets" approaches, l'Elyssee dreads that "an enormous violence" will explode in Paris this weekend. Throughout France, the calls to gather in Paris and demolish the current establishment rule are multiplying. Last week, a young man encountered by Le Figaro near the Saint-Lazare station was shouting: "This is not a protest, this is the Revolution!" Tuedsay night, on BFM TV, one of the leaders of the movement, Eric Drouet, had even declared wanting to "return" to l'Eyssee Saturday.

I think they mean he had gone to l'Eylsee, invited, for negotiations, but now wants to return uninvited. Kind of like a threat.

I think. Don't sue me. I'm not fluent in French.

"What is at stake, is the security of the French and our institutions," pronounced the Prime Minister Edouard Philippe Tuesday.

The authorities are thus totally mobilized for avoiding a "Black Saturday" in Paris.


The details of the [security] presence have not yet been made public, but a reinforcement of the number of police is already noted.

The gendarms have notably fought to recall many off-duty or on-leave units. Already reinforced this past Saturday, with 23 squadrons of mobile gendarmes--

Just a cool thing -- "gen d'armes" means "person of arms" or really, "Man at arms."

Medieval own watchmen, in other words.

...deployed in Paris, compared to 16 squadrons on November 24; the presence of the gendarmes will be increased yet further. What about the deployment of armored vehicles, an idea being explored according to La Parisien (newspaper)? A source close to the case responds to Le Figaro that these vehicles will indeed be present in reserve, as they were last week and as in many operations to maintain civic order, but nothing indicates at the moment that they will be used. "There aren't any tanks," reports this source.

An essential change of tactics is equally expected. According to [news site] RTL, the senior aide to the mayor of Pars, Emmanual Gregoire, had stressed that the prefecture of police would have "learned the lesson of the failure of last week, with a secure perimeter which tied down most of the forces without much efficacy," and were conscious of the need to adapt themselves to the mobility of the activist groups and the rioters." Gathered with the unions of police for the Minister of the Interior, the union Alliance confirmed that the presence of a "fan zone" [I'm guessing an area for supporters of the protesters, who are not themselves protesting; spectator stands, then?] in the Champs-Elysees sector last Saturday would not be reconstructed.

Cancellations and Closings in a Cascade

As for institutions and the wider public, preventative measures are in the works. According to information received by Le Figaro, a ranking minister had received an order to prohibit his workers and associated ministers from showing up for work this weekend, after the intelligence services warned them of "calls to kill and to arm up with guns for attacking parliamentarians, the government, the executive, and police."

Despite the calls from the minister of the Interior Chirstophe Castaner and the former Minister of the Transition Ecological Nicholas Hulot, the organizers of the march for the climate have announced that their own protest is going forward, in Paris as in the rest of France. On the other hand... [a bunch of soccer games are cancelled and many museums are closed].

So the people demanding the gas tax hikes will be protesting the same day the anti-gas tax Yellow Jackets will be staging Act IV.

And here's a map of the "zones sensibles" (sensitive zones, danger zones) this Saturday. Red depicts likely areas of Yellow Jacket protests, with an advisory for people to safeguard themselves; the green line depicts the intended path of the environmental marchers.


You'll notice they meet at La Place de la Republique.

That'll be fun.

This video shows a "fan zone" in Paris for the World Cup.

So, in France, riots have fan zones.

Meanwhile, the opposition to Macron in the French National Assembly plans to file for a no-confidence vote against his government. (His government, but not him; I'll explain that in a moment.)

MPs from the French Socialist Party, the far-left La France Insoumise (LFI) and the French Communist Party (PCF), dissatisfied with the government's response to the "gilets jaunes" ("yellow vests") crisis, will file a motion of no confidence on Monday.

"In the coming days, we will seek to broaden the group of people who can file this motion with us including in other political groups," said Olivier Faure, head of the French Socialist Party, on Thursday as he stood with representatives of LFI and PCF.

Macron's just-invented party, En Marche!, has an outright of majority of seats in the assembly so this vote will probably fail.

A no-confidence vote can only be lodged against the government, headed by the PM Edouard Phillippe, and not the head of state, who is the President, Macron.

In France, Presidents are elected directly by the people every five years. They do not depend on legislative support and are not elected by the legislature. They cannot then be tossed out of office by a no-confidence vote.

The actual government -- the Prime Minister and other Ministers -- are, however, proposed by the President and then voted on by the legislature. So they do rely on legislative support.

So the PM Phillipe, the Minister of the Interior Castaner, etc., could be in danger due to a no-confidence vote. Macron would just have to reshuffle the cabinet and bring in a few new people while kicking old ones out and submit them for approval by the legislature.

As that article I translated yesterday mentioned, there is already talk that Phillipe might be on his way out, and talk that an even larger reshuffling is coming. This was before the report of a no-confidence vote. The source said that if Saturday's protests are violent, we could see Macron forced to shake up the government -- "In the best case, by the time of the European elections, in the worst case, by Christmas."

Flashball: There's a lot of controversy over the police's use of a less-lethal weapon called the flash-ball or flashball, which fires a rubber projectile with a lot of stopping power. French police use them for riot control.

A high school girl in Grenoble was just hit in the face with one of these and injured ("disfigured," her mother says).

Just something that might come up tomorrow. I figure, about a 90% chance that there are tweets complaining of flash-balls, and then someone from the stupid, stupid media and the Pretend Junior Media, Vox, guesses it's an incendiary round.

It's not a flash-bang as one might guess.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 01:03 PM

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