PARIS: Yellow vests movement shifts to the left

December 8 in Paris, Act IV of the yellow vests protests, provided further evidence of a movement moving decisively to the left with the presence of a huge anti-capitalist bloc, led by leading campaigners against police violence, The Adama Committee for Justice and Truth, and including railworkers, striking postal workers and other rank and file trade unionists, students, migrant workers groups, important collectives like The Rosa Parks Collective, sex workers and LGBT groups amongst many others. The mood in France has completely changed since the horrific arrest of all 151 students in the sixth form of a school in a banlieue of Paris last Thursday, after police put them all in stress positions (you can see the footage in our video above). Now the organised workers are entering the fray. The CGT have called a day of action for pay rises this Friday; rank and file railworkers who led a series of strikes against the Macron government earlier this year, are walking out on strike that day and are calling on other workers to join them as a first step towards building a general strike. Meanwhile the student movement has exploded, with blockades at hundreds of schools and universities across the country, huge demonstrations in the past couple of days and mass assemblies, like the one below in Nanterre University in Paris where 3,000 attended on Monday:
Apart from outrage at the severe repression from the stage, the response to Macron’s concessions to the movement has broadly been: Too little, too late. A 50p an hour rise in the minimum wage is not being paid for by employers, but by taxes, and was due to go ahead anyway; concessions on pensions are cosmetic; and the same day the government decided to go ahead with more tax cuts for the rich. In a movement where a number of different demands are converging, the consensus is clear; nothing less than a significant redistribution of wealth will do.