Richard Greeman: The first anniversary of the Yellow Vest uprising marks an historic moment: perhaps the first time in history that a self-organized, unstructured, leaderless, social movement has survived for so long.
Richard Greeman: Their uprising has unmasked the lies and violence of republican government, as well as the duplicity of representative institutions like political parties, bureaucratic unions and the mainstream media.
Richard Grieman: The Macron government’s real answer to public opposition posed by the Yellow Vests has been brutally stark: slander, violent repression and strict new laws limiting the right to demonstrate
Richard Greeman: Deaf to the angry people’s legitimate grievances, unwilling to deal with them, Macron has given himself no other choice than to legislate new repressive legal restrictions to suppress their continued free expression.
Richard Greeman: The French establishment, non-plussed by an incomprehensible leaderless movement which refuses to be co-opted back into the system, has reacted crudely with an onslaught of violence and lies.
Richard Greeman: This anger has been building since last Spring, the 50th anniversary of the 1968 worker-student uprising, but was frustrated when Macron won the stand-off with labor over his neo-liberal, pro-business counter-reforms.
Richard Greeman: Despite Donald Trump’s far-right, anti-labor crony-capitalist reign, an unforeseen wave of militant, self-organized teachers’ strikes began spreading from one conservative state to another.
Richard Greeman: In the U.S. as well, a wave of spontaneous strikes by underpaid, overworked, idealistic Red State teachers backed by public opinion is making sweeping gains, and movements like #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, FightFor$15 and other post-Occupy anti-capitalist struggles of the 99% are on the rise. Is there hope for real change?
Richard Greeman: The issues at Columbia crystallized major problems that were national – even international – questions of racism, the imperialist war in Vietnam, and what became known as the youth revolt or student rebellion.
Richard Greeman: Within hours, the Law School attacks were all over the social networks, and student strikers, human rights groups, civil rights lawyers were busy organizing demonstrations and protests for the next day, framing it as a ‘fascist aggression.’
Richard Greeman: “Progressive” Democratic legislatures and city fathers, by dividing the races with permanent concrete barriers and withdrawing support from the poor, white, black and brown, neighborhoods, effectively assassinated what was once a community, and they know it.
Richard Greeman: Faced with Macron’s calmly-worded, reasonable, deliberately transparent class war agenda, it should be obvious that France needs a united Left of parties, unions, social movements and local associations to oppose it.
Richard Greeman: The internal struggle between Trump and the “intelligence community” is not evidence of a coup but the sign of a much-welcome split within the ruling classes, a disunity which reveals their weaknesses and reflects the growing strength of the popular anti-Trump movement.