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Lessons from the Yellow Vests

category france / belgium / luxemburg | community struggles | opinion / analysis author Mittwoch Januar 30, 2019 20:36author by Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group - Anarkismo Report this post to the editors

The only realistic approach to climate change is one that recognises the inequality in our society. The policies of neo-liberalism, in particular carbon pricing, are a prescription for failure. Workers and communities currently reliant on unsustainable industries deserve a just transition. Working class living standards as a whole must be protected to maintain social support for a transition to a carbon free economy. The price of the transition must be borne by those who built and profited from unsustainable industries – the capitalists. In short, we need to abolish capitalism. It is the only strategy that can work.
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The Yellow Vests movement in France began on 17 November and, after peaking in early December, has continued to this day. It was triggered by the decision of the French Government to increase taxes on petrol and diesel fuel at the start of 2019 and to justify it on environmental grounds, in particular to mitigate climate change. Opinion polls report that the movement has the support of the vast majority of people in France.

Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in militant actions across France, with many of the demonstrations encountering massive police violence. The movement has been politically heterogeneous from the outset. At the beginning Right wing tendencies were predominant, but after about a month, the Left gained the upper hand. At all times, the movement has resisted the appeal to affiliate itself with any of the mainstream French political parties. The Government abandoned the fuel tax increases, but the movement had already transformed into one protesting against the Government's economic policies generally.

It is unclear what the eventual result of the Yellow Vests movement will be, but one thing is already clear. The Government's attempt to use price signals in the capitalist market to bring about a transition from fossil fuels has been killed off. The people of France, emphatically and almost unanimously, have rejected the neo-liberal prescription for addressing climate change. The climate movement around the world ignores this lesson at its peril.

The world needs to stop climate change. Left unchecked, global temperatures will rise by between 40 and 70 Celsius. This would result in the destruction of most ecosystems, render large parts of the world uninhabitable due to summer heat and kill billions of people. This is not just about the Great Barrier Reef or the Amazon jungle, important as they are. This is about the survival of industrial civilisation and, in a worst case scenario, the human race itself.

Action to mitigate climate change, however, does not occur in a vacuum. The same capitalist system which brought us unsustainable fossil fuels also created a vastly unequal society, and inequality continues to increase. When a government uses neo-liberal policies like a carbon price to address climate change, it aggravates the tendency in capitalism to produce inequality. Just as for electricity prices, when fuel prices rise, workers suffer and the capitalists hardly notice.

For us in Australia, the consequences should be clear. The media are dominated by hard Right wing climate denialist voices. They will channel justified working class anger against declining living standards into a deadly weapon against any form of carbon pricing. The Right will promote mass scepticism about the scientific basis for taking action against climate change. This is precisely what occurred to the Labor Government of Julia Gillard in 2010 and the consequences are likely to be the same – or worse – if that strategy is repeated.

The only realistic approach to climate change is one that recognises the inequality in our society. The policies of neo-liberalism, in particular carbon pricing, are a prescription for failure. Workers and communities currently reliant on unsustainable industries deserve a just transition. Working class living standards as a whole must be protected to maintain social support for a transition to a carbon free economy. The price of the transition must be borne by those who built and profited from unsustainable industries – the capitalists. In short, we need to abolish capitalism. It is the only strategy that can work.

A JUST TRANSITION MEANS ABOLISHING CAPITALISM

Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group

Verwandter Link: http://melbacg.wordpress.com
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France / Belgium / Luxemburg | Community struggles | en

So 26 Mai, 20:40

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Statement by Alternative Libertaire on the introduction of the state of emergency

textWe are all part of the rabble 19:10 Mi 09 Nov by CNT-f 0 comments

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textCNT Education sector on French riots 01:11 Di 08 Nov by CNT-FTE 0 comments

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image“The Gilets Jaunes have blown up the old political categories” Jan 12 by Jerome Roos 0 comments

France’s neoliberal order trembles as the yellow vest revolt shatters established political conventions. The new terrain presents both dangers and opportunities.

textNeocons in France! resistance and social unrest: news and views Mai 15 by anarchy 0 comments

Since may 6, we know the face of our new enemy. He is not unknown to us, we “practiced” him as a minister the last five years. The policy he will implement will be in all aspects a program of social regression, of freedom restriction and brutality of the state apparatus against the population. Despite those who tied their hands in the “call to vote”, we reject the legitimacy of this power and are calling to resistance.

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This is the first detailed analysis of the riots to be translated into English. It's from the anti-fascist No Pasaran network which includes libertarian communists.

textNo to the state of emergency in France Nov 10 AL 0 comments

Statement by Alternative Libertaire on the introduction of the state of emergency

textWe are all part of the rabble Nov 09 Regional Bureau for the Paris Region 0 comments

Statement from the CNT on the (re)introduction of the curfew in France

textCNT Education sector on French riots Nov 08 CNT-f 0 comments

Statement by the CNT-f on the recent events in Paris. Of course the teachers with the CNT, most of whom work in these neighbourhoods, do not call for the destruction of cars or public buildings, but nor do they call for resignation. For these young people, they demand more justice

textA Week of Rebellion Against Social Injustice Nov 07 AL 9 comments

Statement by the Federal Secretariat of Alternative Libertaire on the events in Paris

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