France, the Yellow Vests, Fake News and Media Sensationalism – Part 3

In the United States, the entire political spectrum of the American right is openly rejoicing in this movement and the unprecedented crisis that accompanies it in France. On the social networks, personalities inscribe the Yellow Vests in what they perceive to be the confrontation, at work both within the United States and on the world stage, of the so-called globalist forces and the nationalists. Many figures define the movement as a revolt against globalism.

Here is a video that shows police officers asking protesters to remove their yellow vests and leave the protest:

It was held in front of the Elysee Palace last December, and Place de la Bastille on January 26th. A Liberation journalist who was there also saw police officers asking protesters to remove their vests.

Untitled.pngA person wearing a yellow vest does not risk a 150 euro fine as it is not a crime to wear one. This was a hoax published by the satirical and parodic site Nordpresse. so why were they asked to remove their vests? The Rhône prefecture explained that it is a doctrine used for the maintenance of public order.

The demonstration was not declared, and therefore illegal. It was tolerated provided that the demonstrators remained within a restricted area. If they wanted to leave the restricted area, then they had to stop protesting and remove their vests. Thus, the demonstrators had to remove their vests at the time of the dispersion because the event was held near Place Belcourt in the city center with shops. To protect passers-by, the protest was held within that restricted perimeter.

So why are these journalists continuing to spread fake news?

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French police brutality is very well known in France, before the yellow vest movement, and well before Macron became our president, going as far back as 1968. Where were these foreign-language Journalists then? In fact, you can just do a quick Google search about this yourself.

In this May 2, 2016 article in French: “Faut-il chanter “Tout le monde déteste la police” ou “CRS avec nous?” / Should we sing “Everybody hates the police” or “CRS with us”?

French police have a longstanding reputation for using excessive force, especially against citizens from ethnic minority backgrounds, migrants and protesters. A series of incidents of police brutality going unpunished led Amnesty International to denounce a pattern of de facto impunity in 2009. Analysis of complaints against the police in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s by sociologist Cédric Moreau de Bellaing pointed to an institutional culture which not only condones but encourages the use of violence on the job.

On 20 March 2017 there were protests in Paris against police brutality.

As I have also said before, snipers on roof tops, and the French police being equipped with a HK G36 or HK-UMP9 is not something new either. Untitled.png

Unauthorised demonstrations are already punishable by law since 2002, which I explained in detail in this post here. So how can they introduce new measures of heavy punishment when this law is already in effect?

This article states that the protesters are falsely labelled as agitators, and later accused Castaner of distorting the truth.

CRS have been attacked with acid in the face. The gendarmerie tweeted on December 8, 2018, a video justifying the arrest of many people, this time because of the possession of weapons or dangerous objects:

Since this morning, numerous arrests of violent individuals carrying dangerous objects. More than 5,000 people controlled on the roads and tolls.”

The only other things that can be confiscated are objects that can hide the face, such as scarves or ski masks.

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For weeks, teams of journalists have been attacked and subjected to violence by protesters all over France. It makes me sad to see that, but it is not all the yellow vests. It is these ones who are being targeted by the police, usually for resisting arrest or refusing to hand over weapons, as it is just a myth that all the protesters are unarmed:

PLLLF

In French, it is ‘Valence’, not to be confused with ‘Valencia’ in Spain. These tweets were automatically being translated into English. More examples of weapons being confiscated can be seen in my article, here.

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In an article by Liberation, the Loi Anti Casseurs, or “anti-breaker law”, was originally filed by LR, and unrelated to the yellow vests. The National Assembly adopted Tuesday, January 5, the bill to strengthen and ensure the maintenance of public order, during the demonstrations, by a large majority despite the abstention of fifty deputies. The text” anti-breakers “of the government  (BFMTV ), or the “bill” anti-collectors” of Edouard Philippe ” (Le Monde): you notice, this text is often attributed in the headlines to Edouard Philippe and his government, while it is a bill tabled in the Senate on June 14, 2018 by Senators Republicans, and adopted in first reading on October 23, before the first demonstration of yellow vests.

The senators had the black blocks first in mind, during the demonstrations of May 2018: “A landing in the violence was crossed, on May 5 and 22, by provocative and offensive groups, which form a crowd anonymous hardly identifiable. […] The authors of this bill want to fight against this new form of violence, exercised in groups with a masked face, proposing both preventive and repressive devices,” reads the explanatory memorandum.

The scenes of looting and violence with the yellow vests movement were added to the argument of the Republicans who voted for the text on February 5 in the Assembly (97 for, 2 against and 4 absences on 104 members of the group).

On 7 January, the Prime Minister announced a new law in response to the violence by the yellow vests during demonstrations. But the framing of events is already addressed in a bill tabled by the Republicans and adopted in October by the Senate. The text voted by the senatorial right is to tighten already existing laws in regards to demonstrations and concealing ones face in public. I have already discussed this here.

Untitled.pngIt is essential to note once again, that this law is already in effect since 2010. A person risks a 1,500 euro fine if they conceal their face so as not to be identified during public events. In article 2010-1192 of the Penal Code, it is illegal to conceal ones face (mask, helmet, balaclava, niqab etc except under specific circumstances) in public, and any person who forces another person or persons to conceal their face is punishable by one year’s imprisonment and a €30,000 fine Article 225-4-10.

This is the same journalist that accuses Castaner of distorting the truth. The majority of people do not understand French law, which leads them to be easily deceived.

Now let’s talk about the weapons.

The weapons used for the maintenance of the order since the beginning of the movement are LBD (defensive ball launcher), and not “flashball”. The term Defense Ball Launcher (LBD) is the administrative and generic term (used for over twenty years) for non-lethal weapons that propel rubber ammunition.

At present (and therefore in the context of policing demonstrations related to yellow vests), police use GL06-NL (grenade launcher), also called LBD 40 (for their 40 mm gun) manufactured by the Swiss company Brügger & Thomet. It is these weapons that are responsible for the many injuries identified each weekend. These weapons were developed in the second half of the 2000’s.

The term “flashball” corresponds to another weapon – still family of the LBD- manufactured by the French company Verney-Carron, but it is no longer used by the national police.

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High suicide rate in the police force is also not something new to France. The suicide rate in the police is traditionally at least three times higher than in the general population.  But the trend had been declining since 2014. Here are the figures provided by the information and communication service of the National Police (Sicop):

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These desperate acts almost always have personal causes, like a divorce or a separation. However, we can not rule out the link with the professional environment.  The job generates stress. The suicides among police have multiple causes and effect a variety of profiles, reports Celine Berthon. The day-to-day work of policemen increases the risk of developing post-traumatic stress (PTSD) on interventions or difficult cases.

Between 1993 and 2018, on average and still according to the figures provided by Sicop, 1 out of every 10 police deaths involved a woman (from 21% of female police officers killing themselves in 2009 to 0% in 1993). Regarding the gendarmerie, the figures are available in two editions of the Gendarmerie Social Report (20152016) and in the Senate report of the commission of inquiry on the state of the internal security forces summer 2018. They oscillate, between 17 and 33 annual suicides between 2009 and 2018. The breakdown by sex is not available.

After a peak in 2014, a dark year during which 55 police officers (against 40 on average annually) and thirty gendarmes had ended their lives, the number of suicides among the police decreased in 2015 and 2016, and the trend has been rising since.

In 1996, the number of suicides in the national police had peaked with 70 cases. “The year 2018 is a ‘normal’ situation in the statistical sense of the term, but there is a situation of over-suicide compared to the average population,” said Sebastian Roché, sociologist and research director at the CNRS. A prevention plan was presented by the director general of the national police this summer. Last year, 66 officers committed suicide.

There is also an interactive map that has registered nearly a hundred incidents where the police came under attack. (See interactive map). You can also read this article by The Local – France.

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Did Macron promise that there would be no more homeless on the streets of France during his election campaign?

On Thursday, January 24, Emmanuel Macron arrived unexpectedly during an episode of the Grand debate held in Bourg-de-Peage (Drôme). He took the opportunity to defend himself from accusations of: “I did not say in July 2017, and I did not take the campaign commitment, to have zero homeless. I hear a lot of people saying that. I had in Orléans [in July 2017] a word about the asylum seekers who were on the street. I said that I wanted all these people to be welcomed. So that was my point about reforming our immigration rules.”

On July 27, 2017, Macron attended a naturalisation ceremony at the Loiret prefecture in Orléans. His speech was reproduced on the site of the Elysee. He took the opportunity to roll out his program on migration and welcoming foreign populations. He declared: “The first battle is to house everyone with dignity. I do not want, by the end of the year, to have women and men in the streets, in the woods or lost. […] I do not want more women and men on the streets.”

He was referring to asylum seekers only and treating their files faster. It was not a campaign promise, but a promise all the same.

The journalist is being very dishonest with her readers despite claiming she has lived in France for 18 years. This bogus movement is to just give rise to the far-right, and perhaps will be used to spark civil war across Europe and the Arab world, that will only lead to more wars in the Middle East, and possibly a future attack on the republic of Turkey.

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