Those violent 'yellow jacket' protests in France? Facebook's behind that, too


#41

no, they are not; thats what the elite there is telling everybody, but thats just plain BS. what do you think happens, if someone tells you, you have to pay suddenly a lot more to heat your flat in the middle of winter; thats right they wanted the tax beginning at january the first 2019. at least thats from the table for now:

The controversial increase in the eco-tax on diesel and petrol in France will be suspended for six months…The head of government also announced that tariffs for electricity and gas should not be raised during the winter. The government wants to use the measures to calm the situation

its not an eco-tax. its a gift for the wealthy. I am so fucking sick of this shit.


#42

And a Guy Fawkes mask probably doesn’t have much relevance in France.


#43

Well, to paraphrase a previous French aristocrat when faced with riots over increased costs of living…

Let them drive Teslas!


#44

Those sacrifices, as you say, have to be made by everyone. They have to be seen as shared, and from the top down.

Those who live in the nicer arrondissements of Paris and who can simply hop on a bus or the Metro to go to work or do their shopping have to be seen to be doing their part. And it would be a good idea to start with that part first.


#45

https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2018

In 2017 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions - excluding emissions from land-use change - reached a record 49.2 GtCO2e. This is an increase of 1.1 percent on the previous year. Emissions from land-use change, which vary from year to year because of weather conditions, added another 4.2 GtCO2, bringing the total to 53.5 GtCO2

fifty-three fuckin billion tons. four years ago it was 36. go figure. I am not really hopeful.


#46

Me neither :frowning:


#47

I think I remember, “some” people there actually said that. yeah, seriously.


#48

And @milliefink

Did you not see the stories about how if you watch something on YT it cues up even more extreme versions of the same, to keep you hooked? It’s how some people get radicalised. FB does pretty much the same - it amplifies the ‘liked’ so even more extreme stuff gets ‘liked’. (That may be a bit simplistic, but it’ll do.)

The protests may be legitimate and/or needed. There may be many other contributory causes. Certainly left and right wing ‘nutters’ (the usual extremists) have taken cover in the protests to start violence against police and property to further THEIR particular agenda.

There can be no doubt social media is one of the contributory causes, though, and an amplifying one, at that. In this case some might say that this is a good thing (perhaps alongside how social media amplified the Arab world’s ‘uprisings’ a while back) - but if it ultimately fades out (just as the Arab world’s did) then all it has done is further divide a nation as well as bring violence closer to everyday life. Or at least, bring the under-the-surface divisions to the surface.

I’m scared about when Brexit (however it pans out) goes awry as it certainly will one way or another. Forget the right wing mainstream press in the UK - once some Facebook groups start egging on physical protest, all bets will be off and this is one reason I have been half predicting civil unrest of some sort at some point over Brexit.


#49

Given that we agree Brexit will be a disaster, the only alternative was staying in and trying to reform it. I posted here the other day that staying in now, might even prompt some reform. (Faint/naive hope that this may be, on both fronts.)

But just because we like one part of an EU treaty but not another part that goes with it is no justfication for buggering off without very carefully assessing and planning for the consequences. Which NOBODY on either side did, and still hasn’t done, all the while letting the Brexiters tell us lies about how wonderful life would be outside the EU and never mentioning their real reasons.

I’m not necessarily accusing you of this reasoning, but pointing out the EU’s faults was never a reason to leave. Any more than pointing out Clinton’s faults was a reason to vote Trump. Sometimes when you only have one very bad option and one much less bad option, it is no good ignoring the fact that you have to choose the lesser of two evils until you can find or create an even lesser evil.

ETA I note that you possiby imply Brexit was a good idea if it had been handled properly (“because it’s been handled so completely irresponsibly”)

I strongly suspect that if someone had actually listed all of the insititutions and functions that UK will now have to reinvent, train up or find skilled staff for, and the impact on the civil service and the national finances and on the economy more widely of having to do so, (just a few examples for starters: that medicines approval agency that moved to the Netherlands already, Euratom, Galileo GPS satellites, academic and scientific research institutions, and so on - but I suspect the list would be dozens and dozens of bodies)… as well as actually working out how to do proper border control (as I posted elsewhere too - we do not control our own borders and it’s our own fault - nothing to do with EU) and customs which would need thousands more border/customs staff and more facilities, especially to work out how to do customs without destroying the UK’s manufacturing and retail supply chains … then any sensible person would have said “Well that’s almost impossible - let’s spend some of that effort, time and money on staying in and really making the EU work properly”. I believe there is appetite in many states (Germany, France, and some other north-western members aside) for real EU reform. Ask the Greeks and Italians, for a start. The Iberians would probably agree, too. Clearly the populists in Poland and Hungary demonstrate an appetite for some change, much of which would need to happen at EU level. Proper political alliances by the UK, and grown-up politics could have achieved a lot. Cameron’s “I asked the EU and they said no” crap was just that - a crappy dereliction of duty.
Instead we got ignorance, obfuscation and simplistic lies from populist wankers with ulterior late-stage capitalist wank-fantasies allied to throwback racist nostalgia amplfied by successive governments failing to tell the truth that a functioning society needs tax and state involvement (infrastructure, other investment) as well as managed immigration, not neo-con Reaganite/Thatcherite “austerity” and ‘fortress Britain’ in Europe, while opening the back gates to anyone else who wants to come here and screw us (e.g. a US trade deal).

I am SO SICK OF THIS SHIT.

/rant

further editing to fix ranty typos - fingers cannot keep up with rantiness.


#50

Here are some translations of articles and essays from French anarchists and communists relating to the yellow vests:

On the Gilets Jaunes: Dispatches from France

Dec. 1st – Pushing the Disorder Further & Response by Alerta Comunista (Greece)

A Historical Awakening: Gilets Jaunes mov’t dispatch from the island of La Réunion

Next Stop: Destitution

As expexted, Crimethinc has an English language piece addressing the political context of the riots:

The Yellow Vest Movement in France: Between “Ecological” Neoliberalism and “Apolitical” Movements


#51

Remember that we’re talking about France. The threshold for protest is lower.


#52

I was remain before the referendum campaigns started, but my major objection to Lexit was that while they might have a point about neoliberalism and Fortress Europe, the main Brexit campaign was very clear that they were not going to do anything about changing that. The only way that Lexit would get what they wanted is if there was a revolution, and at that point EU membership would be suspended anyway. There was also a prominent left wing nationalist faction within Lexit, which I wanted nothing to do with.

I could see no way that Brexit wasn’t a reactionary step backwards. I don’t want to take control of British borders, I want to tear every border down. I don’t want to make Britain great again, how about making the world great instead? The only way I would agree to leave the EU is if there was something better to join instead, and Brexit’s delusions were nowhere near what I believe in.


#53

I blame telephones and newspapers for the May 1968 riots. It had nothing to do with the policies of De Gaulle. It happened because people were able to communicate and be made aware of what was happening. That’s what we are doing right? Blaming the method of communication rather than the policies that lead to the rioting… It’s the peoples fault and if we can’t blame them we can blame the method of communication. After all, if people were kept ignorant and prevented from spreading ideas then no one would have known about the riots and they would have faded away.


#54

For the most part, affluent people who live in urban areas with good public transit already do use it. Unless one is wealthy enough to employ one’s own full-time driver to drive one’s own car, driving and parking in cities like Paris and NYC is a major pain. The subway is often the faster and better option for travel less than 4 miles, which encompasses most urban cores. When I lived in NYC I regularly saw very wealthy people I knew on the subway and sometimes saw celebrities on it as well. I’ve heard similar accounts from Parisian friends about the Metro.

The bigger problem in the French government avoiding a top-down solution is that it didn’t target emissions from large corporations with sufficient levels of aggressiveness before gradually working its way down to smaller businesses and individuals (higher congestion charges in France’s cities and higher tolls outside would have been a better way to go there).

This isn’t really a conflict between populists and the so-called urban “elites” (many of whom aren’t really economic elites) so much as one between populists and a government that persists in sticking to neoliberal economic policies of austerity and corporate welfare that no longer work. The left-wing populists participating in the “yellow jacket” protests understand that, but the right-wing ones (encouraged in bad faith by Libertarians and conservatives) take the other view.


#55

Why isn’t anyone beyond a few individuals on social media asking whether or not the protestors have a good point? All the mainstream media is doing is nattering on about Facebook. I understand why they’re doing it - Facebook competes for audience, and they’ll do anything they can to tear it down. But why aren’t more people trying to get info to decide whether or not the protests are justified?


#56

One might at the very least ask: Why doesn’t an article on Boing Boing explore this possibility instead of lazliy attacking Facebook and thus tacitly implying the protests must be evil and unjustified?


#57

I’m calling it now. In 6 months, we will find out that a group of shadowy petrobillionaires have been gaming algorithms to stoke these flames. This is information warfare by the corporate elite. The goal is to destabilize centrist governments so they can be replaced with pliant far-right stooges.

Trump, Brexit, Wisconsin, Yellow-Jackets … All are symptoms of the same underlying disease.


#58

Sure, but how many times do these same people fly every year?

According to this calculator, a New York - Paris round trip in first class has a carbon footprint of over 3 tons. That’s half of an entire year’s worth of driving, to use the 6-ton figure cited upthread.

Taking transit is good (we should all do it more, and I include myself in that) but when the wealthy do it they’re a) probably doing it because it’s the best way to get around a city like NYC or Paris, not out of environmental awareness, b) most likely only offsetting a small part of their total carbon footprint and c) probably still logging plenty of miles in cars.

Let me know when the rich start cutting back on flying and/or flying economy (much smaller carbon footprint, because economy seats take much less space in the plane).


#59

there you go. thats mostly the whole point. they got rewarded, but their consumers getting fucked again. and again. and again.

Those violent ‘yellow jacket’ protests in France? Facebook’s behind that, too

I really like your posts, xeni. but here you just fucked it up, at least in my opinion.

edit/ was FB and twitter also “behind” the arab spring? you wrote about that 8 years ago, right? but you didnt wrote unlike here, that FB and twitter were responsible for it. what is happening?


#60

In Denmark, the Left has a long tradition of being against EU membership for non-nationalist reasons.

Having grown up in that environment, I’ve been a Eurosceptic all of my life. The imposition of austerity budgets and the waterboarding and wholesale plunder of Greece by the EU Commission, the Central Bank and the IMF (may all rthose esponsible die in jail) have done nothing to convince me that the EU is, in fact, a good project.

But that does not mean that I’d have supported Brexit as it was formulated for the referendum. All of the racism, the anit-immigrant bullshit, the blatant lies about the EU stealing people’s money - and Boris Fucking Scumbag Johnson’s NHS bus, with the lie about 300 million pounds a week for the NHS - a bus which actually convinced a lot of people to vote Leave.

And what did Boris Johnson say afterwards, when the bluff about the money for the NHS was called? Basically, “so I lied, what are you gonna do about it?” That’s what I mean by irresponsibly.

Maybe if the question of Brexit had been raised by the Left, wishing to exit in order to avoid neoliberal budgets and austerity, with no nationalist bias at all, and they afterwards had gone about getting the best possible deal in an efficient way, then it might have been a good idea.

As it is, driven by the UK/right Tory clusterfuck, with the responsibility illustrated by Boris Johnson’s actions as quoted above, and dominated by Tories doing fuck all why squabbling away … it’s going to be a disaster. How unmitigated? Well, at least the government is responsible and won’t let the weak and the poor, the sick and the disabled bear the brunt - oh wait!

So - I don’t think it’s a good idea. Not having entered might have been the ideal.