(I talked with the lone Egyptian worker at the Centre, and whom you can see in that video - he said the Centre was clearly targeted. He showed me an empty vodka bottle they had thrown inside, but Black Bloc isn't a bunch of drunks. I felt bad for the poor guy - who knows if he supports Sisi or not? He's just manning a cultural centre in some far away place - Egyptians need cultural centres, after all.)
Ok, there was some damage which was not purely political - two motorcycles were set on fire. However, when I claw my way to the top and become dictator of France the first thing I will do is ban those damned loud lawnmowers they call transportation. You have to live in Paris to understand just how much extra reverberations motorcycles make in this walled city - noise pollution is a much bigger problem than regular pollution (which is also a problem) - so I personally view anti-motorcycle actions as 100% justified; it is social, if not necessarily political. On top of their annoying and perpetual noise, motorcycle riders do nothing but drive between car lanes and break every law imaginable. I truly believe Paris has become more dangerous to drive in than Tehran, and that is pretty amazing. (Of course, in the past few decades Iran has actually invested in driver infrastructure whereas Paris just makes more bike lanes; Iran now has many more traffic cops, which is a type of public worker you'll never seen in Paris - maybe they were there pre-austerity?)
Seeing as how our job is to be at the front line, we had to be at the front line fire. I made a rookie mistake - never be in a situation where you have to flee down a side street, always stay on the main thoroughfares and close to the wall. So, they gassed us (women, elderly, children) to clear way for the fire trucks to put out the fire. Here's the thing: the crowd was already moving back to clear a way - the gassing was not at all necessary but punitive. The tear gas cans exploded mid-air so close to me I could see them ignite clearly, and that's when you lose an eye. Alhamdulillah, me and my colleague were ok. Pretty badly gassed, but we've had worse. The worst part? I was only so close because I was scheduled to do a live interview from the craziness, but our damned connection wasn't good enough! So I was gassed, crying, running and yelling at Tehran to put me on the damned air all at the same time. It happens.
But I admit it humbly: with my awesome-sounding French in my PressTV Français recap at the end of the day (not posted yet), I was not critical enough of Black Bloc - they can do more harm than good. Mainly when they go where they are not wanted - like that ecological protest instead of the Champs.
Immediately after the violence and mid-demonstration Greenpeace and Youth for Climate tweeted that they were revoking their leadership of the march and that everyone should leave the protest. Tough kids, eh?
I talked with a Black Blocer just prior to the gassing: a woman who was very voluptuously built. She was probably one of those defacing sexist ads, as she is likely subject to constant objectification when walking down the street (a hejab undoubtedly gives women a break from that, but let's leave that issue there): heaven forbid she violently object to female nudity in public advertising, because that's proof France is so "sexually progressive" and "respectful of women", right? She took off her mask when she saw I was one of the good journalists - her pretty young face was flushed from leftist exertion. Dressed head to toe in black, she said she wasn't Black Bloc but merely rocking the "Goth" look. A lovely figure, pretty face, guts and a sense of humour? Of course I was so smitten I could not identify her to authorities if ever forced to do so, such was the mass of stars, hearts and bright lights swirling around her.
I would have talked to a Youth for Climateer but they were retreating too fast" yet somehow they were able to tweet at the same time? Millennials - so talented!
Another Saturday in France, more long-term lung damage
The reality, which is still difficult to grasp as we left Yellow Vest #45 and filmed an old man whose face was red and bloodied from cops, as well as a bleeding, handcuffed old woman, is that things are only going to get worse: As I wrote, the pension and unemployment systems will have the broadest immediate impact of any of Macron's "deforms", thus they will provoke the broadest protests.
Such protests go beyond the Yellow Vests' capability. September 21 was significant because it was the "Yellow Vest Day Without the Yellow Vests" - most did not wear them. The idea was to finally converge the Vesters with the various social struggles (unions, NGOs, mainstream leftist political parties, even eco-kooks, etc.). After 10 months, they have to join forces with the right groups.
They are talking about an unlimited transport strike in December, and I never recall hearing that before. No Christmas vacation for me, I guess.
The only TV media openly covering the Yellow Vests remains Iran (in English, French, Spanish and Farsi) and RT. I have seen France's LCI (the government channel) openly there for about 6 weeks, and once or twice last month I saw TF1, but that's it. I'm sure the fake-leftist MSM was all over the climate change march - because they always are - and I hope they got more tear gas than I did.
However, the process of lasting revolution is long - it takes years of struggle, and victory is not assured until households and families are forced to choose sides against each other. I am not promoting familial disharmony, just reporting what I have read of previous revolutions - the simplest, most moral and most effective choice, of course, is to side with the lower classes.
The thing about a "reset" in a video game is that you just go right back to the same beginning, and you have totally erased from memory all the bad you did. Why would Macron deserve a reset from the French public?
Too bad for Macron that civil service and politics are not a video game, or a hippie rave. Too bad for everyone in the global economy that austerity continues.
The reality is that Macron doesn't even know his own country's history: since the 9th century less than five of France's just over 100 leaders have been killed. France doesn't kill their leaders - they exile them, even those of the First Republic (1792-1804). This is another false cliche Macron has accepted as fact which is mainly promoted by fearful, reactionary English monarchists. Beheadings aren't necessary - just ask any Frenchman: what could be a worse fate than to not live in France?