Yellow Vests: Prepare (Yourself For) the Storm

There are two ways to analyse the current period of the Yellow Vests movement: the first, that of the government and the media, is to convince oneself that the mobilisation is running out of steam from Saturday to Saturday and that the movement will end little by little, thanks to the miracle of the grand debate.

The other way of analysing this sequence is much more exciting: for a few days, an almost underground effervescence has been going through the movement. Beyond the mobilisations of Saturday, many citizens gather and initiate initiatives: the call of Saint-Nazaire, the yellow week [a special flurry of acts that is supposed to commence after May 1st – ed], the working-class front on April 27th [the Yellow Vests plans to do a large protest along with different unions and associations on this day – ed], proposals for combining the green movement and the Yellow Vests, occupying roundabouts with banquets on May 4th, the call for a May 1st offensive and solidarity…

So we could be in this famous period of the “calm before the storm”. With the idea that the storm can begin on April 20th with the second ultimatum in Paris. From this date, a series of actions and initiatives could launch a dynamic of almost permanent struggle, in order to break from the two most decried aspects of the movement: the sanctioned and harmless demonstrations and the act of protesting only on a Saturday.

If this prediction proves to be right, it is important for all those who seek a radical change in the system to use the last days of calm to best prepare for this storm.

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1. Prepare yourself, to know how far you are willing to engage your body and your personal/professional life in this fight. In this regard, it is quite surprising to see that despite the threats and the indiscriminate repression suffered by the movement, more than 40,000 people have registered for the various events of April 20th. Even more surprising is that more than 10,000 people are registered for the facebook event of May 1st “Ultimate Act, Paris Capital of the riot”! This is a strong sign that a growing part of the population can no longer stand being crushed and humiliated by a few powerful people, and that no carrot or stick can calm that anger.

The scale of the mobilisations of April 20th, April 27th, May 1st, and the following days will be very decisive. The movement is indeed approaching a critical threshold of present and offensive people. A threshold that could turn the revolt into a real challenge to the system. But, in addition to a massive mobilisation and even greater than that of March 16th, it will also be necessary to have prepared the ground to build spaces of struggle before and after the street demonstrations.

2. We should prepare ourselves collectively. Because the different mobilisations will be massive and determined, it will be necessary to be able to offer to the Yellow Vests and other angry citizens places to meet in the long term. Places to debate. Places to initiate political and social proposals. Places also to meet citizens who have not yet entered the fight but who may do so: occupations of roundabouts, the creation of Yellow Vest huts, the occupation of buildings and places … Let’s take back what is ours, and let’s take it back in order to fight and to meet each other. Many other ideas can (and should) emerge. The chances of the movement, as well as its strength, lie in its horizontality and in the fact that everyone can launch an idea, and that it will be realised if enough Yellow Vests find it interesting and want to implement it. May these days be the period in which ideas and proposals flourish. So that in a few days the flowers of the revolt may bloom.

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