Understanding France’s ‘Yellow Vest’ Protests
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FEATURING STEVEN HILL – The “Yellow Vests” protests in France have rocked the European nation for weeks now. Thousands of activists have taken to the streets and organized all over the country, donning yellow vests to signify their demands that the French President back down from high fuel taxes. But, even after Emmanuel Macron and his government backed down on the proposed tax hike, protests have continued. At least 4 people have been killed and hundreds injured and arrested.
The protests have been cast as a people’s response to a necessary action to curb climate change. US President Donald Trump jumped on that framing tweeting on Tuesday, “I am glad that my friend Emmanuel Macron and the protestors in Paris have agreed with the conclusion I reached two years ago. The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters.”
But others have pointed out that this is not a matter of people versus the climate, but rather of the rich versus the rest.
Steven Hill, was recently the journalist-in-residence at the Berlin Social Science Center. He is a political writer and author of five books, including Raw Deal: How the ‘Uber Economy’ and Runaway Capitalism Are Screwing American Workers, as well as Europe’s Promise: Why the European Way Is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age.