A people and its president

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After the moment of glory when everything, and many, seemed to smile, inside and out, against Trump and Merkel, the youngest president of the Fifth Republic, flanked by his competent friends, is at the head of the most powerful executive of democratic countries. Champion of equations. In front of his people.

The excessive reform, the increase of the fuel tax, leads to the challenge of all austerity measures, taken by himself (advisor to President Hollande, minister of the same or president) and his predecessors: first challenge having obtained a result, insufficient, but a result, which had not happened for a long time, despite the eventful and varied protests of the unions, Nuit debout

Nuit debout was a draft and a warning: movement, born outside of any organization, following a demonstration on the Labor Law in the spring of 2016. However, Nuit debout was still linked to the traditional struggles with the will to advance towards the convergence of struggles. And in addition, popular assemblies putting forward multiple reforms and a necessary direct democracy. It was, as some have said, a modern form of political action, outside parties, outside unions, without a leader, without a program … (Albert Ogien), not the first post-Marxist social movement (Gaël Brustier) but its foreshadowing.

Today, they are des personnes de rien, des fainéants, des Gaulois irréformables , des illettrés (as said Macron)  who oppose a government measure, an increase in the fuel tax. Using social networks, outside any associative, union, political structure, they create an Unidentified Social Object (Objet Social Non Identifié, OSNI) launching the occupation of the roundabouts. They are not workers who occupy their factory, students who occupy their faculty, it is not the population of large urban centers that occupy public places like others have done elsewhere and before them.

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They are people from so-called peripheral areas, small towns in the regions, without a tradition of collective struggle, who, directly affected, react spontaneously. Far from governmental or protest centralism, the strength of the movement is to be a national movement, spontaneous, made up of multiple groups more or less important, scattered throughout France.
Strength in the moment of protest but difficulty in decision-making …

At the time of a tax of too much which touched especially a population little or badly represented at the social level, at the political level, probably often abstentionist, not belonging to the organized social forces or measuring the impotence of these traditional forces, associations, unions, parties, having often never manifested, the Gilets Jaunes have pinpointed the fiscal, social and political injustice, on the inequalities which are accentuated and met popular support rarely so strong and so durable.

The gilet aune (yellow vest), mandatory in every car, became symbol of revolt. These very diverse people (status, occupation, age) have an absolute need of their car for their daily life and their work, they decide to occupy the roundabouts ….
For their first mobilization, a master stroke, never seen.

Round dots and round back.
Faced with this unknown of their equations, not taken into account in their algorithms, new competents have the same reflex as the old! Silent round back of the chair. Waiting for it to pass! As unstructured, without a spokesperson, this OSNI, medieval jacquerie, provincial Poujadism, was going to die in the swamps.
It was to forget the viral strength of networks, yet long vilified!
The phenomenon is repeated every Saturday, does not weaken, with huge support from the population according to the polls. Despite the violence largely on the front page.
Macron tries to regain control of the clocks.
However, for him, it’s always winter time.

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A little carrot.
Here comes the classic carrot attempt: a few billion will solve the problem, divide the Gilets Jaunes, weaken the importance of support and we can resume the budget equations according to the Maastricht criteria with a comprehensive European Commission. For this champion of the European Union and its economic policy.
Giving little, in a dull way, is not the right way.

However, for the first time, power had yielded, partially. The wise trade union demonstrations, repeated, shouting otherwise it’s going to fart, have not gotten anything for a long time. It does not fart. The governments, the leftist first, ignored the demonstrations, in support of the population. Macron’s limited concessions, obtained in spite of, perhaps because of the violence of some demonstrators, showed that it was possible. It was necessary to push with the support of the population.
From the fuel tax, the demands were widening and leading the protesters to attack the president, legitimately, because everything comes from him – he had asked that they come to get me – and even to his mandate …

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A big stick.
Mediated violence, the approach of the end-of-year family celebrations were favorable to strike a blow. In the proper sense of the term.
With the strongest police repression of demonstration since the war of Algeria! With provocative speeches and collateral damage never seen. To scare the protesters, afraid of serious injury, fear of indictment for participation. Fear to the population in the face of such clashes. Through speech and images.
Inadequacy of repression. Physical threats, socio-economic threats, loss of GDP, loss of temporary jobs for the holidays, flight of tourists, nothing helps! The participation weakens, it does not take long to go ahead again, significant. With the support of the population, less but always majority.

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A big carrot. The Great National Debate! Free and undistorted?

President Macron finally realizes the gravity of the situation. He is not de Gaulle. He can not launch a referendum-plebiscite with a very uncertain outcome. But, going beyond Clemenceau, – when you want to bury a problem, create a commission – he launches the Grand Débat National to bury the Gilets Jaunes.
It remains to be seen how things will turn out. On January 24, 1789, Louis XVI convened the Etats Généraux for the month of May ..

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Bad start for the debate: the president of the National Commission of Public Debate, which was supposed to guarantee the quality of the consultation, resigned. It seemed to her indecent to manage a dialogue about purchasing power while his comfortable salary was published in the newspapers.
However, she had to be of quality, to be aware of the problem. To dare to say it. For having been replaced by five guarantors whose income should not be very different from her own, but they think well for the president: two chosen by the government and three by the presidents of the National Assembly, the Senate and the Economic, Social and Economic Council. environmental.

President Macron is the initiator of this Grand Débat National, free and undistorted, and, of course, the organizer. He sets the framework, the calendar, the limits. Open to all suggestions if they are smart – translate if they are consistent – while claiming that he will not change course.

The president barely conceals his game by going for the second meeting in Souillac where he launched his presidential campaign. This time, the account of the state, ie the taxpayer. At four months of the European elections. The first meetings with the mayors of two regions give a first taste of this tour: debate organized by the prefect who chooses the mayors who will speak, chaired by a minister.

The aims of the debate are clear: to occupy at length, largely the ground, easier, he thinks, for him than for the Gilets Jaunes; to bring out from the consultation the intelligent measures which he has already decided to take, to refuse those which are not intelligent, which do not suit him; I will not change the course !

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The claims of the Gilets Jaunes are essentially of two types: financial, they concern the social justice, the purchasing power, the ends of month … and institutional, they relate to the democracy and especially on the direct democracy …

The first are directly the responsibility of the president, the government. They can easily have them voted by the National Assembly, if necessary, given the overwhelming majority they have.
The main ones are known: the abolition of the fuel tax increase (it was only postponed), return of the ISF, increase of the Smic (not a premium), decrease of the VAT on the products of the need, level of pensions, increase in the number of installments for income taxes, taxes on GAFA, hunt for tax optimization and tax avoidance, removal of CICE … It is possible to add other recovery of the APL (which seems forgotten by everyone), recovery of subsidized jobs, removal of some tax loopholes…

Announcement of decisions can be quick. Problem: They question the president’s policy that made it clear he would not change course. It all depends on the balance of power that will be established Gilets Jaunes and their supporters in the population.

The latter want a strengthening of democracy and, above all, the establishment of a form of direct democracy. They take longer to develop, especially if they require constitutional reform.
Limiting the number of parliamentarians and their means? The president will accept it easily. He has already planned it. It strengthens the power of the executive and accentuates the presidential nature of the regime which probably does not constitute a strengthening of democracy.
Consideration of the vote blanc should not be a serious problem. Acceptance can be fast in principle.

The question is very different for the Citizen’s Initiative Referendum.

In the framework of the European Union, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, adopted in 2000, ensures the right of petition in front of the European Parliament (1 million signatures). In France, since the constitutional law of 2008, the Social and Environmental Economic Council can be petitioned (500 000 adults of French nationality or residing regularly in France). This right of petition does not seem to have advanced democracy significantly, either in Europe or in France.
Acceptance of principle is not enough. It is necessary to ensure, at the comma, the conditions of establishment and execution of the referendum: subjects, formulations of the question, number of signatures … This supposes months of surveillance, of dialogue, more or less conflicting , so that the measure is really applicable. And therefore vigilance Gilets Jaunes or what will follow in the long term, not a few weeks but a few months …

This is to say the importance of the form that will give the Gilets Jaunes in the coming weeks to focus on the essentials of their claims: tax justice, social justice, democracy that the president wants to drown in an all-round consultations: all questions, all citizens.
At each concession, if there is a concession, the same question will come back. Should we stop the movement? Can we continue it indefinitely … We saw it well after the December 10th speech where some people seemed to be satisfied with Macron’s announcements.

Various proposals have been put forward.

Participating in the European elections would lead to the temptation to develop a program on many issues that are not, explicitly, in the claims of Gilets Jaunes … hence a risk of division. Emphasized in case of multiple lists competing leading to a votes sharing and nobody elected.
Moreover, according to the polls, a list of Gilets Jaunes would remove voices especially from the Rassemblement National and  France Insoumise and strengthen the president.

The attempt to organize an assembly of assemblies like that of Commercy could be a form of coordination over time to maintain a certain unity on the analysis of the situation and its evolution. And the possible countermeasures to be taken to weigh. It will not be easy.

To be received by the President of the Republic would strengthen the recognition of Gilets Jaunes received as privileged interlocutors provided that the delegation is representative of the majority of them and does not constitute a factor of division. It is unlikely that Macron will make any proposals while the Grand Débat is underway. If not to feel the ground or divide.

Be that as it may, the period ahead is difficult for les Gilets Jaunes as the election campaign for the European elections begins in a European Union in deep crisis while the house burns without anyone being preoccupied.

The strength of the Gilets Jaunes is their independence but even more their unity in the claims, tax justice, social justice, territorial justice, democracy that should be endorsed by the candidates in the European elections, without releasing their vigilance against the President and the government .

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It is also, and perhaps above all, the continued support of the population with the hope that all the activists who share their goals, who are in associations, unions or parties whose credibility is not much bigger than that of the journalists. And who would find there hope to change things.

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Publicités

In search of ecstasy*

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In search of ecstasy

Following a banal reflection – a customer who rejoices and is satisfied with having won a lawsuit, thanks to him, while asserting that God can, at any moment, take his life – Omar, renowned lawyer, to the strength of the age, having perfectly succeeded his family and professional life, raises the fundamental question of the meaning of his life.
Omar’s long psychological journey, more and more chaotic, begins.

It is a vague malaise that leads Omar to consult a doctor, a friend of youth. In the waiting room, the painting of a child on a wooden horse announces the passage to death, hell, sky … And, while the doctor has only reassuring words – do a little bit exercise, lose a few pounds – the friend throws trouble into Omar’s mind by reminding him of another youth friend, a certain Othmane.

Diet and physical activity improve the silhouette but are ineffective against the bad being, the indifference which is accentuated for his professional life, his family life and even a certain disgust, including of himself.

Through dialogues with his friend Mustapha and the return of Othmane from prison, we learn that the three youthful friends had dreamed of art and revolution. Today, they have nothing in common except a past that Omar remembers but no longer makes sense to them.

Only Othmane is still animated by his political faith despite years of imprisonment.

 

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The friend Mustapha, without illusions, makes a career in popular entertainment and has a family life without history tied to his wife by the force of the habit and the principle of reality … work … earns bread … and a son as passionate about football as we were about the revolution … Witness of the crisis of Omar and accomplice in his tumultuous search for ecstasy, the absolute through disappointing love experiences.

His reason is lost in dialogues more and more impossible. With his people he does not hear anymore. With himself where he goes from I to you, to him … And that ends in a loss of reality, semi-conscious hallucinations …

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In this world where science has killed their dreams of art, poetry, in this society where revolution seems impossible and perhaps useless, Omar, locked in his search for the impossible, misses the love of yesterday, his wife who gives him an heir, and of today, Warda who abandons everything for him, as his wife had done thirty years earlier. And especially beside his daughter, his improved double, admirer of his early works, scientist and poet, and especially bearer of his grandson fruit of his love with Othman, the revolutionary friend.

But it’s too late. The ecstasy, the absolute that he touched in his youth, the intoxication of creation, he can not find them: neither the magical burning of sex, the dazzling orgasm, the sex, divine, but too short,the nectar of life concentrated in a unique and ephemeral moment, neither the ephemeral intoxication of love, love which had consoled him for (his) failure as a poet, as a militant, nor the suffering (which) sublimated in poetry and that allowed him to touch the sky. Today, here I am fighting against adiposity.

A novel that is in Egypt, in the fifties, but that speaks of the meaning of life, the search for the absolute, the possible existence of God without religiosity.
A question that everyone can ask, one day or another, even away from the ecstasy of dawn, in front of the pyramids, on the edge of the desert …

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* Le mendiant de Naguib Mahfouz Égypte 1995 Acte sud 1997

What are we doing for tomorrow?

Que faisons nous pour demain ?

 

When the european troika attacked the Greek people, the peoples of the European Union sympathized weakly. And let Tsipras and Syriza alone …

When the governments attacked with the El Khomri law, the labor code, the SNCF … the French people weakly supported the unions…

When came the presidential election, political defeat of the left after the social defeat with the disappointments of the couple Fillon as entertainment for the people …

When Les Gilets jaunes revolt, outside the lines, we are amused with violence, the fight of a boxer against a policeman… and they prepare the European elections and laws for future repressions.

In the spring of 1968, everything changed when the plants were occupied, this winter of 2018, the people support Les Gilets jaunes in the polls and everyone looks, comments BFMTV…

The beleaguered government, disoriented politicians and right-wing or left-wing commentators are turning into a far-right campaign for the European elections. They favor the verbal, physic and inadmissible excesses of some and forgive tax, social and political justice claims and a fight largely supported by the population, after weeks of hard demonstrations.

There is no more question of convergence of struggles, otherwise ça va péter, it will fart, but when it fires, the power is afraid of possible social contagion. And workers, unions silent…

Yesterday, the struggling unions alone did not win. Can Les Gilets jaunes win alone to day?

Que faisons nous pour demain ?Que faisons nous pour demain ?

Exchanging e-mails on Gilets Jaunes with a Brazilian friend

Peinture de rue, boulevard de Ménilmontant, le 8 mai 2018

Street painting, boulevard de Ménilmontant, May 8, 2018

07/12/2018:
Hello,
Yesterday it was in Brazil today it’s in France. We have lost and the nights are starting to fall on our heads. And where does France go?
Here, the analyzes on France are ambiguous, and we do not have a clear opinion of what is happening. If it’s a left or right movement, etc. The way of mobilization seems tactical to us from the right, but the economic system does not help people’s lives and they have reasons to protest, but where to go? And how ? We are against the destruction of cultural property, the memory of humanity.
We would like to know what you think of all this.
I hope you are cautious and know that we are with you with all our friendship and solidarity.

Abraços.
B. et M.

12/10/2018
Hello,

You ask me what I think of the fight of the Gilets jaunes and the French situation.
My answer is that of an adoptive Parisian who has no television, who does not listen to the radio and who follows the information on the web. Which, in addition, follows the demonstrations fairly regularly.
For personal reasons, I did not participate in any demonstrations on November 17 and 24 (acts 1 and 2 of the Yellow Vests and Demonstration on violence against women).

On December 1st (act 3 of the Gilets jaunes), I went to the Place de la Nation Paris) at the call of the collective Rosa Parks. Demonstration for Dignity and Equality in Memory of December 1, 1955, where Rosa Parks, black woman, seamstress and civil rights activist, refused to sit in the square at the back of the bus that was her assigned.
Why at this event? Because I see two types of manifestation that are specifically of interest to Blacks or Maghrebians, where the participation of Whites is very small. And those concerning general social issues where populations of immigrant origin are in low proportion. And for me, these manifestations should both be unitary. The division of the exploited is the game of the exploiters.

There were a few hundred people.

I went then Place de la République to the call of the CGT Employees public, private, unemployed and students.

These two manifestations did not derogate, in what I saw, from the rule stated above.

And on December 8 (Act 4 of Gilets Jaunes), to the one on the climate.

I was not at any of the demonstrations on the Champs Elysees.

1. A brilliant invention: wearing a yellow vest. All motorists have one, it’s mandatory. This does not prejudge anything about political opinions but simply adherence to the movement, here and now.

2. The use of social networks that allowed to quickly reach many people. Social networks despised by serious people except when they use them. Facebook (I have not had since they sold their address book) essentially, and Youtube where people are staged and from which came out a few personalities of the movement.
As we are always looking for historical examples, the use of social networks is reminiscent of the role of Europe No. 1 in 1968 in the mobility of protesters.

3. The move started with a 6 cents increase in the diesel tax and 3 cents on gasoline. Which may seem ridiculous. But that happens at the right time to trigger an unexpected movement. More derisory, May 1968 left students and a story of boys and girls university campus, in a France that was bored but whose changes in depth were not always perceived …

4. This new tax has been the triggering factor. After several measures that deeply affected the whole of society: decrease in housing assistance, increase of the CSG (social contribution generalized) which is proportional and non-progressive, decrease in pensions … Suppression of the ISF: wealth tax, replaced by real estate tax, ie abolishment of the tax on financial wealth, flat tax, ..

5. The increase in the price of fuel affects everyone, but first and foremost those who have to use their car to go to work (sometimes two cars when both members of the couple are working, to take action, the administrative centers close and are further and further from home: post, family allowances, social security, hospitals …).

6. Hence a revolt that mainly affects the people of the regions (not city centers), the people who work: not the working class who no longer exists as a class but those who need their vehicle to go to work. while public transport is not organized (nurses, working mothers, teachers and also workers) or to work, those for which it is the instrument necessary for work (craftsmen …). And who have some difficulty making ends meet. Hence a wide revolt, it is not a revolt of the Parisians but Paris is the field of battle of which one speaks the most, of people who come from the regions or large suburbs (the difficult districts of the suburbs of Paris do not seem have moved).

7. A sociologist has made a book recently, about which much has been said but which, it seems the academics mocked La France périphérique. It seems that he did not belong in the academic environment, he was leaving traditional class patterns …. But it is this France périphérique that seems to have risen.

8. So different social strata working, but poor or in the process of impoverishment or fear of impoverishment. Unframed, neither by the unions, nor by the associations, nor by the parties that they contest and assimilate to the responsible politicians even if they are in opposition.

9. They wanted to denigrate this movement in many ways:

91. By pointing to the statements of some: racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic … But these statements of some have not been taken up by all. It is a movement that brings together many people from different backgrounds, political cultures or lack of different cultures. The only thing common, they do not want to be recovered by anyone. Not even by their representatives who are quickly disavowed after being appointed.

92. In condemning violence. Attributed to the far-right or extreme left-wing breakers. Unfortunately, of the 3 or 400 people arrested, 3 or 4 were stuck. All the others were unknown to the intelligence services or the police. So they try to separate the reasonable ones who want to negotiate well, the violent ones who do not want to. For the moment, it does not work.

94. The denunciation of violence does not work. In polls, the vast majority of people defend yellow vests. The population is not for violence. But do not reject it. According to surveys 60 to 80% of respondents are behind the yellow vests according to the wording of the question.

10. Everyone is obliged to recognize that union or political demonstrations, wise, have obtained no results (on the labor law, on the SNCF …) and the violent Gilets Jaunes have already obtained results of a government that said understand them but wanted to maintain the course. And knew how to answer only by the repression (the importance of the number of grenades of any kind used has been published …) and failed to protect neither the shops, nor the Arc de Triomphe! The Place de l’Etoile was held by the Gilets Jaunes that entered the monument and even climbed to the top !!!

11. The government is helpless. He first said, loud and clear, that he understood the claims, but kept the course. He started to yield. In complete disunity. The Prime Minister said one thing, a few hours later, the Minister of the ecological transition announced, by order of Macron, the opposite. A minister was talking about the ISF, it was learned that she had been reprimanded by Macron in the Council of Ministers …

12. The government is trying to play on fear. But he’s the one who’s scared. The population does not follow. Macron does not speak but goes to the Arc de Triomphe to see the damage, to see the police to congratulate her and give her a bonus, in a prefecture attacked … so, each time, without announcing anything, only to show the damage. Never to make a self-criticism, to say anything in favor of the population who must support its measures.

13. The biggest victim is Macron.Gilets jaunes, the people are not mistaken. It is Macron who is attacked (Macron resignation), it is Macron who is insulted, his popularity rating has fallen, according to polls, to 20%.

14. Everyone knows Macron’s contempt for the poor, those who are nothing, those who cost money crazy, those who have to cross the street if they want to have work, those who protest instead of looking for work
Since his election, he is the president of the rich, has taken measures in favor of the rich, has made flattering remarks for the Premier de cordée, he chalenged that they come to seek me … and now he opposes them the police and hides behind a government he manipulates … Waiting for his next statements.

15. Until now, it was easy enough for me (even if I say maybe bullshit). But nothing is more difficult than predicting the future, said a comedian. To get out of this relationship of violence, nothing is clear.
151. Macron can resign: he will not do it. If he did, it would be the president of the Senate who should organize the presidential election to replace him. Election that may see a rise of the far right. An exacerbation of tensions. And measures pushed back.

152. He may dissolve the National Assembly. He will not do it. He has a comfortable majority. If there are new elections, there will be a likely push from the far right. In addition, everyone is preparing for the European election to be held in June 2019.

153. He can change Prime Minister to amuse the gallery. With this one or another, will it change politics?

154. For the moment, there seems to be no satisfactory force ready to secure power, either in continuity or in alternation. The government has decayed, it can continue to do so at the cost of a number of concessions …

I do not know how to complete this email.

Some hoped that the moderate Gilets Jaunes would join the event on the climate this afternoon. I come but Anne tells me that there are clashes on the Champs Elysees but for the moment, I do not know.

  I did not speak, serious misconduct, of the evolution of the claims of the Gilets Jaunes, starting from the price of the fuels, they largely spread their palette of claim. And what could be considered as an anti-ecological claim (cancellation of the ecological tax on fuels), has broadened to institutional issues, demand for greater democracy (direct?) And more and more of peiple refuses the conflict between the end-of-the-world end of the world (to improve the end of the month, for example fuels cheaper to the detriment of ecology or the reverse ecological measures whatever it costs [especially to others]). The trend is rather to make the junction: tax justice! ecological justice!

It would be necessary to rest all this, also according to the European corset which controls the national budgets, the Italian questions, for the budget, the Brexit, the rise of the extreme right in all Europe which risks to be accentuated during the european elections next May…
Whatever happens, it’s a safe bet that France will not respect the Maastricht criteria in future budgets … And the European Commission will hardly be able to condemn France, second power of the European Union. It already has difficulties to condemn Italy 3rd or 4th … There may be a dissatisfaction of other European countries, in front of the laxity and impunity of France, which will further promote the rise of the far right …

This afternoon I went to protest for the climate. Demonstration, not prohibited of the Nation to Republic, maintained in spite of the request of the government and the existence of the Act 4 of the Gilets Jaunes which speak of the Champs Elysées, the Concorde, to block the device, a rally of support to Saint Lazare.
There were a lot of people. Some came with yellow vests. There was practically no police or journalist … All were mobilized for the thugs … It went very well.

Voila, it’s a bit long.
Kisses to you all.
Paul

10/12/2018:

Thank you for the careful analysis. I see that the demonstrations can be well organized by the networks of the right (Bannon, etc.), while touching the points of popular dissatisfaction, as your analysis shows, but once the masses are en route, the various factors intervene. and give a new dimension.

Here in Brazil, the left waited a long time to understand that, because it was the Left who was in the government. And the Right, backed by the media and justice, with the United States behind, took the opportunity to lead a campaign to overthrow Dilma and put Lula in jail.
Finally, the realities are quite different. Here the demonstrations have opened a crisis on the left, with you a crisis on the right. Here the right has won, in France, we do not know yet.

Finally, we must support the movement with unifying slogans and support for grassroots organizations.

B.

I’m not sure I understand your first sentence. But here nobody talks about the organization by right-wing networks (Bannon, etc.). Everyone says it’s a spontaneous revolt. And Marine Le Pen has failed, for the moment, to lead the movement against immigration.

It starts to be noises on infox (Fake news) that would be broadcast by the Russians on social networks.

HE speaks at 20 hours !!!

 

 

Some images of the day: 15/12/18 in front of the station Saint Lazare between 10h and 11h30 at the call of different organizations: Attac – Solidaires – Copernicus Foundation – DAL – CNDF – GDS – Ensemble – Génération-s – LFI – PG – CAC-ECOLO Movement – DIEM25 – NPA

 

Le rassemblement devant la gare Saint Lazare, le 15 décembre 2018
Le rassemblement devant la gare Saint Lazare, le 15 décembre 2018

The gathering in front of Saint Lazare station, December 15, 2018

Echange de courriels sur les Gilets Jaunes avec un ami brésilien
Echange de courriels sur les Gilets Jaunes avec un ami brésilien Echange de courriels sur les Gilets Jaunes avec un ami brésilien
Echange de courriels sur les Gilets Jaunes avec un ami brésilien Echange de courriels sur les Gilets Jaunes avec un ami brésilien Echange de courriels sur les Gilets Jaunes avec un ami brésilien
Echange de courriels sur les Gilets Jaunes avec un ami brésilien Echange de courriels sur les Gilets Jaunes avec un ami brésilien Echange de courriels sur les Gilets Jaunes avec un ami brésilien
Banderoles, fanfare, clowns, jeune ramassant objets et papiers (a commencé seul lors de la manifestation sur le climart, ils étaient quinze à la finde la manif)
Banderoles, fanfare, clowns, jeune ramassant objets et papiers (a commencé seul lors de la manifestation sur le climart, ils étaient quinze à la finde la manif)
Banderoles, fanfare, clowns, jeune ramassant objets et papiers (a commencé seul lors de la manifestation sur le climart, ils étaient quinze à la finde la manif)

Banners, fanfare, clowns, young picking up objects and papers (started alone during the demonstration on the climate, they were fifteen at the end of the demonstration)

The police blocked, solidly, all the avenues to prevent the demonstrators from going in procession towards the place of the Republic as announced.

 

Police bloquant les avenues
Police bloquant les avenues

Petit pays, the impasse ?

Petit pays, l’impasse ?

Gabriel, now in his thirties, with an uncertain sense of his identity, laboriously integrated, living in a Parisian suburb without a past, dreams only of returning to his small country, the impasse, a district of Bujumbura, in Burundi, where he spent his childhood. And where everything started

A remarkable book in which the life of the hero, the history of his family, where sometimes memories are lived or imagined, and that of the country are closely intertwined. Moments of innocence and happiness outside of time. Moments of clashes and breaks made up by time.

In the gang of five, Armand, the child of a Tutsi couple, is the only black. The other four are metis, but all are from privileged backgrounds, attend the French school. They live in the same neighborhood where they have a den-refuge in old combi abandoned and do the same silly things as children their age, eleven-twelve years old.
Little aware of the tragedies that are disrupting neighboring Rwanda, Burundi and, soon, the impasse and the gang of five, themselves embroiled in this ethnic conflict.

Through the story of Ga(bri)el, partly autobiographical, Gaël Faye shows how political events, from which one can not escape, will first blow up one’s family and then physically destroy it. He probably owes his survival only to a precautionary exile, organized by his father. He keeps, despite all the misfortunes of this destroyed life, the nostalgia of his childhood, the sounds, the colors, the images, the perfumes of the impasse. And books that an old neighbor woman has made him discover and have opened to the world for him.

Petit pays, l’impasse ?

From the prologue, he proposes for the reader, with humor, the discovery of the absurdity of what is going to be the basis of a drama that will take everything away.
In the narrative, by deviations, in the margin of the unfolding of the main plot of the novel, he describes, sometimes as passing people through his environment, scenes that constitute the setting of the situation and events. And makes them discover to the reader: the still colonial but living environment of Zaire, a village of pygmies in Burundi, the marriage in Rwanda of an uncle in full civil war, the conditions of life in the village of the grandparents seen by the twins of the band, the discovery of circumcision to which they had to submit, the warm welcome of unknown villagers, the adventures of the stolen bicycle that will pass from hand to hand as a result of successive sales and resales.
And the absurd world of violence to which it is difficult to escape.

These unknown worlds, various, irreconcilable, he will also discover, as and when events, in the families of friends and even in his apparently peaceful home: first the intonations, the words and then, little by little, the clashes between employees of the house and, also, the separation of parents with very different past … And finally, the massacres of family members, first in neighboring Rwanda ...

Petit pays, l’impasse ?

He himself will have to take his place, get involved, by force more than willingly, first to defend his privileges, recover his bicycle, then defend, at what cost, his life and that of his family in a conflict that, believed he did not concern him.

If the violence of the Tutsi genocide is unbearable, the story is not one-sided because Gabriel, Tutsi, is himself trained in counter-violence to which he is forced to participate. Beside this violence, the quatres-coups of the band or the exchange of letters with a young correspondent girl of Orleans, through the emotions and the writing of a young child of twelve or thirteen, testify to the image of their innocence, of all the innocences of this world struggling to walk on the edge of chasms.

Beyond the violence suffered, the strength of memories leads Gabriel to choose the identity of his childhood, to return to the impasse, to find his friend Armand, the only one of the group that is still there, in the Petit pays, to resume history, overtaking her and trying to heal her mother and the past …

Petit pays, l’impasse ?

Petit pays of Gaël Faye, 2016, Grasset, has won multiple awards including the 2016 Prix Goncourt des lycéens

The right to vote of foreign residents

Le droit de vote des résidents étrangers

Français

Since 1994, La lettre de la citoyenneté has published, almost every year, the results of a poll with the same question on the granting of voting rights to foreign, non-community residents for municipal and European elections (1).

Le droit de vote des résidents étrangers
In the eyes of some, this question may seem incongruous or even provocative. It is all the more interesting to follow the results of these polls which are spread over more than 20 years with, each time, the same question. And see the answers.

Some findings from the table of results from 1994 to 2018.
At the 21 surveys, the proportion of favorable responses is equal to or greater than 50% in 13 cases and, in 8 cases, the respondents are mainly opposed to the extension of the right to vote.

In 1999, for the first time, the majority of respondents (52%) were in favor (45% opposed) of the extension of the voting rights for the municipal and European elections to non-EU foreign residents living in France.

From this date until October 2018, of the 16 polls conducted, 13 gave a majority of favorable and 3 opposed responses. Since 12 years, ie since 2006, all the polls – 10, there were none in 2010 and 2012 – have given results mostly favorable to the right to vote.

In 2 of the 3 polls with a majority of opposing responses, we can note a drop of 12 points favorable opinions compared to the previous poll: the first, the one of 2001 was made two months after the attacks of New York of September 11th and that of 2004 one month after the attack of March 11, 2004 in Madrid! The 2005 results were close to those of 2004.

The 2014 results also show a decrease in the favorable response rate, which nevertheless remains the majority: a relative majority in 2014, 47% in 44%, with a 7-point decrease in favorable responses and a 2-point increase in opposites compared to 2013. But, the favors become the majority at 50% against 47% in 2015 and 54% against 42% in 2016, 56% against 39% in 2017 and 58% against 39% in 2018.

While the answers had dropped following the attacks in New York and Madrid, it seems, this is not the case after the attacks in Paris. The drop, in 2014, precedes the attacks!

Le droit de vote des résidents étrangers

Following these positive polls, two bills to amend the Constitution were adopted in 2000, in the National Assembly (rapporteur, Noël Mamère) and in 2011 in the Senate (rapporteure, Esther Benbassa) to award the right to vote to non-EU foreign residents in municipal elections.
In both cases, these proposals could not succeed, for lack of simultaneous majority in both chambers, Assemblée Nationale et Sénat.

While the polls focus on municipal and European elections, the two bills only concerned municipal elections. At the time of the Maastricht Treaty, granting European citizenship, and the right to vote and stand for election to municipal and European elections to all European Union nationals residing in France, the Conseil constitutionnel had decided that the Constitution should be amended to the right to vote in the municipal and not for the right to vote in the European: in the latter case, a simple law was enough.

 

No proposal or draft law on the right to vote in the European elections has ever been tabled. While a simple law was sufficient and for that, a determined majority in the Assemblée nationale.

In all comments, articles or discussions, there is only question of municipal elections. Sometimes, in the comments, including those of the Polling Institute, municipal elections are replaced, unduly, by local elections. There is hardly any question of municipal and European elections!

But the most remarkable fact probably lies in the consistency of survey results.
Indeed, since the mid-1970s, most governments, left or right, have made immigrants, non-EU foreign residents, responsible for all our ills. Followed by the media. And a lot of politics. But polls remain, constantly, favorable to the voting rights of these foreign residents in municipal and European elections.

This has been further reinforced since 2015. In the elections in the various countries of the European Union, including France, there appears a push from the extreme right whose anti-foreign speech (associated with that against the EU) would be the main engine.
And the people polled in France persist!

We can also note that the last regional elections in Germany saw Grünen (Greens) who defend a home policy progress much more than the AfD (extreme right) whose anti-immigration is the main speech!

Should we think that the shift to the right that everyone is talking about, affects more, at least on this level, the men and political parties that the population? That the role of statements against foreigners may not be as decisive in the right-wing vote as the press and politicians want to believe.

This seems confirmed by the examination of the results according to the party’s preference of the respondents. If the most favorable are those who say they are close to La France insoumis and the PC (73%) and the PS (71%), thos close to the Republique en marche are not very far (65%), the polled without preference Most of them are still favorable (54%). Finally, their number is far from negligible among the persons close of Republicans (39%) and even the National Gathering (32%)!

This consistency in the responses in favor of extending the right to vote to all foreigners regardless of their nationality reflects an attachment to the principle of equal rights.

 

Le droit de vote des résidents étrangers

1 – The results of the 2018 survey are published in the issue of La Lettre de la citoyenneté, No. 155, September-October 2018

Little summer trip

Français

Some images of a summer journey started in Besançon and ended with the Voyage à Nantes and its Pas de côté.

 

The World Cup was not far in Besançon …

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… and in the surroundings.

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With the heat of summer, the umbrellas of Cherbourg have become umbrellas, both in Gap …

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… and Carcassonne.

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A little jump by Marseille…

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… and Arles…

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… to end, always, in Collioure, despite the crowd on the streets …

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Bordeaux, between wine and water mirror

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Royan, its cabanes à carrelet (Saint-Palais-sur-Mer), its boats, its market, its church …

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Brouage

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La Rochelle…

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La Rochelle

L’Île de Ré, ses ânes en culotte (itsasses in panties), the fish lock.

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The end of the trip : Nantes and its Pas de côté…

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Published by Paul ORIOL dans Voyages Photos

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Cinema is also a business!

Le cinéma est aussi un commerce !
At the festivals of Cannes and Venice, there was much talk about Netflix. And it’s not over. While the Netflix films were excluded from the selection in Cannes because they did not go out in theaters in France, the door was wide open in Venice and Netflix rushed in, with success.
Six Netflix films were selected, three in competition (Venezia75), Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, Lion d’Or, 22 July by Paul Greengrass, Coen Brothers’ Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Screenplay Award. And three in other selections: Sulla mia pella of Alessio Cremonini (Orizzonti), They’ll love me when I’m dead by Morgan Neville (Fuori concorso), The other side of the wind by Orson Welles (Evento special) , Campari price (seen from afar, a bottle of Campari!).
The Artistic Director of the Mostra, Paolo Barbera, explained in several statements: I see no reason to exclude from the competition of the festival a film of Cuaron or the brothers Coen only because it was produced by Netflix …

The problem is not there. These films are not only produced, they are also distributed, especially or exclusively, by Netflix to its VoD subscribers. Netflix is ​​not the only company to produce movies and then broadcast them on their own VoD system.

In Venice, were presented Suspiria of Luca Guadagnin, (Venezia75), Mike Leigh’s Peterloo (Venezia75) produced by Amazon, L’amica geniale of Saverio Costanzo, (Fuori Concorso) by HBO.
These production companies have already presented films to Cannes some of which have had some success: in 2003, Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, Palme d’Or, American Splendor (Un Certain regard), in 2016, Cafe Society of Woody Allen, Festival Opening (Hors Competition), Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson (Competition), Park Chan-wook’s Handmaiden (Competition), Nicolas Winding Refn’s Neon Demon (Competition), Gimme Danger (Session Speciale), in 2017, Wonderstruck‘s Todd Haynes (Amazon), 2018, Fahrenheit 451 by Ramin Bahrani (Hors Competition, HBO).

My mission is to choose the best films, not to solve the problems of the cinema market. Netflix gives the means to create to great filmmakers. Rather than making resistance to an irremediable movement, it must be said that tomorrow, movies will be seen simultaneously in theaters and on small screens. France is resisting to protect its model, which is otherwise magnificent, but which will not last long. Because if Netflix is ​​the only villain, tomorrow there will be others.

For the moment, the other bad guys are playing the game. And they are competing in the growing market of subscription-based VoD, including AT & T, which, following acquisitions, will be able to rely on HBO, series Warner … (1).

Under the sign of fatality, Paolo Barbera twists a little the question because these films may be seen tomorrow, simultaneously in the room and on a small screen, but for the moment, Netflix refuses this simultaneity. And paradoxically, heavy support of the jury members, the Golden Lion 2018 was awarded to Roma, made for large screen that will be seen especially on the small!

If, tomorrow, the majority of the theaters disappear and the films are only seen on small screen. It will always be cinema. But a different one.

Paolo Barbera pays tribute to the resistance to follow an opposite policy. If the French model is beautiful, it is because it allows a release in the movie theaters first, then on small screen. But also, because it allows to have an important national production by the obligatory engagement of the television channels and a network of important modern theaters.
It is not certain that the French model resists forever. He would have more chances if he was followed and supported.

Le cinéma est aussi un commerce !

The Toronto Festival makes the same choice as Venice. And Toronto is more important than Venice in the film market. But both place themselves in competition with Cannes in the perspective of the market and the awarding of Oscars.

Netflix refuses to play the game, as do Amazon or HBO … His financial power (2) allows to buy the big names in cinema. It is comparable to those of these American giants who are growing rapidly and moving towards a monopoly situation in their respective fields. What will cause problems to filmmaking first, few filmmakers of quality will resist the seduction whether for movies or series, but especially for the broadcast.
How many theaters will die from this change in distribution? (3)

In Italy, the release of films on screens, on television or in VoD is not regulated. The professional organizations of the cinema operators, ANEC and ANEM (for the Multiplexes), protested and would have liked Venice to defend them or better associate them with decisions that might endanger their existence. The presence or not, on the board of the festivals, of the cinema operators could play in the different decisions of Cannes and Venice.

In the United States, there is no regulation either, but a tacit agreement between producers and American movie theaters. And Amazon agrees to release films first in theaters and then on their video service (4).

Alberto Barbera does not ignore these facts. In the competition between Cannes and Venice, he plays a growing distribution business against the others. At the expense of the cinema networks in the countries where they exist.

Le cinéma est aussi un commerce !

Until now, the French system works relatively well, for the attendance of theaters. In 2016, France is the first country for the attendance: a French went to cinema 3,34 times on average against 2,6 for a German and 1,5 for a British. And for the number of theaters (2,045) or screens (5,843) (5).
But attendance is not the same everywhere: Parisians saw 11 films against 0.93 in cities with less than 20,000 inhabitants outside Île-de-France (6). The VoD may increase this difference in attendance. And kill theaters.

The conflict with Netflix broke out on the occasion of the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. While two Netflix films were presented, Thierry Frémaux, the general delegate of the  Festival, had announced that only the films that would be released in theaters in France would be admitted to the official selection. What Netflix refused. As a result, there were no movies produced by Netflix at the 2018 edition.
But the dialogue continues. Thierry Frémaux is convinced that each side needs the other. And that Netflix, one day, will go to the cinema to legitimize his films. At the last Festival des Lumières de Lyon (13-21 October 2018) which he is also director, Thierry Frémaux invited Alfonso Cuaron and Roma! (7).

Sign of weakness, openness, promise of compromise?

Le cinéma est aussi un commerce !

1 – Le Monde 12/10/18

2A financial power based on a large number of growing subscribers: founded in 1997, Netflix has, in October 2018, 137 million subscribers in 190 countries including more than 50 million in the United States and 3.5 in France .
The company, which was established in France in 2014, has moved its headquarters to the Netherlands in order to benefit from a more advantageous tax system (Wikipedia).

Subscribers and … financial transactions: Netflix, whose stock market value has just surpassed the Walt Disney Company, has raised $ 8 billion to finance its films and series (Die Zeit of 06/09/18, quoted by Courrier International, 20-26 / 09/18).

3 – The same question arises for the bookstore. Recently, Bande de Français, the self-published novel of the Franco-Israeli Marco Koskas, present in the first selection of the Prix Renaudot, was removed from the second list at the request of the Syndicat de la Librairie Française (SLF), because it was available only on the Internet (Culturebox with AFP, 04/10/18).

4 – https://www.franceinfo.fr/cinema/a-la-mostra-de-venise-netflix-prend-sa-revenche-et-decroshe-le-lion-d-or

5 – LesEchos.fr 18/09/17 : https://www.lesechos.fr/18/09/2017/lesechos.fr/030579068039_les-salles-de-cinema-francaises-ont-fait-le-plein-en-2016.htm

6https://www.economie.gouv.fr/entreprises/cinema-chiffres-cles

7Le Monde 15/09/18

Le cinéma est aussi un commerce !

 » Petit pays », the impasse?

Le Petit pays, l’impasse ?

Gabriel, now in his thirties, living in a Parisian suburb with no past, laboriously integrated, dreams only of returning to his small country, the impasse, the district of Bujumbura where he spent his childhood. And where everything started…

A remarkable book in which the life of the hero, the story of his family and that of the country are closely intertwined. Moments of innocence and happiness outside of time. Moments of clashes and breaks made up by time.

In the band of five, only one is black, the child of a Tutsi couple, the four others are mixed-race, but all of privileged backgrounds, attend the French school. And live in the neighborhood, make les 400 coups like children eleven-twelve years old. Little aware of the tragedies that are disrupting neighboring Rwanda, Burundi and, soon, the impasse and the gang of five trained in this ethnic confit.

Through the story of Gabriel, partly autobiographical, Gaël Faye shows how political events, from which it is impossible to escape, will first blow up his family and then destroy it physically. It owes its survival only to exile. And guard, despite all the misfortunes of this destroyed life, nostalgia for his childhood, sounds, colors, images, perfumes of the impasse.

Le Petit pays, l’impasse ?

By deviations, in the margin of the unfolding of the main plot of the novel, he describes sometimes as scenes of passing tourist that constitute the setting of the situation and events. And makes them discover to the reader: the still colonial but living environment of Zaire, a village of pygmies in Burundi, the marriage in Rwanda of an uncle in full civil war, the conditions of life in the village of the grandparents seen by the twins of the band, the discovery of circumcision to which they had to submit, the warm welcome of unknown villagers, the adventures of the stolen bicycle that will pass from hand to hand as a result of successive sale and resale.

These worlds unknown, diverse, irreconcilable, he will also discover them, as and when events, in the families of friends and also in his seemingly peaceful home: first the intonations, the words and then, little by little, the clashes until the separation of his parents and family employees … And also the massacres of family members, first in neighboring Rwanda …

Le Petit pays, l’impasse ?

And he himself will have to take his place, get involved, willingly or forcibly, first to defend his privileges, recover his bicycle, then defend his life and that of his family in a conflict that, he believed, did not concern him.

In this narrative, where the author’s lived or imagined descriptions are sometimes mixed up, yesterday or today, perhaps the most successful moments are the letters sent to the young Orleans girl correspondent, the emotions and the writing of the a young child of twelve or thirteen.

Beyond the violence suffered, the strength of memories leads Gabriel to choose the identity of his childhood, to return to the impasse, his small country, to overcome it and try to heal his mother and the past?

Le Petit pays, l’impasse ?

Petit pays of Gaël Faye, 2016, Grasset, has won multiple awards including the Goncourt High School Students 2016 …

Brazil Solidarity

Solidarité Brésil
A gathering in solidarity with democratic Brazil took place today in La Villette.

A friend met, on this occasion, told me this half-joke: « In the Brazilian presidential election, some voted for a real fascist candidate thinking he was bogus, so as to avoid the election of a candidate they took for a true communist when he was only a phony communist. « 

Some pictures of this gathering.

Solidarité Brésil
Solidarité Brésil
Solidarité Brésil
Solidarité Brésil
Solidarité Brésil
Solidarité Brésil
Solidarité Brésil
Solidarité Brésil
Solidarité Brésil
Solidarité Brésil
Solidarité Brésil
Solidarité Brésil
Solidarité Brésil