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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/27/19

The Yellow Vest Movement: One of the Most Unreported Stories of 2019

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Before I list the chronological of the 2019 Yellow Vest movement allow me to briefly summarize it: Every Saturday eight thousand cops were on the streets of Paris, entire city areas shut down, while the state went on a rampage of indiscriminate violence of police brutality against unarmed protesters. Then it hit me: the metronomic sadism of massive state violence was abnormal, yet Western mainstream media ignored it, and pretended everything was normal.

A news chronology of France in 2019: The year of Yellow Vest rebellion

[If you are too busy to read it all, I suggest only reading March through May 1 - this is when the Yellow Vest demonstration was gutted via reactionary values which we can call "neo-Vichy", with Brussels replacing Berlin as the master of France's government.]

In mid-April I finally was able to get out of Paris for a few days in between Saturdays and I headed to the countryside, which I adore (in any nation). After a day of decompression something hit me: the metronomic sadism of certain, massive state violence every weekend was not at all a normal state of affairs" and yet Parisians were expending all their psychic energy to convince themselves that everything was indeed "normal".

What was "everything" from January to mid-April? Every Saturday: Eight thousand cops on the streets of Paris, entire city areas shut down, guaranteed images of violence against unarmed protesters, indiscriminate tear gassings and police brutality, the world aghast at French-style democracy, the knowledge that no way was "President Jupiter" Emmanuel Macron going to make any concessions and that for many people (like me) every Saturday meant certainly risking limb and quite possibly life.

What I realized was that during the first third of the year Parisians did their typical best to be blase'; to act as if all this was quite nothing new whatsoever; to act like getting upset over it was quite poor taste; to act typically Parisian.

That, of course, was total nonsense - pure poseur.

So what I mostly remember is how during this period was that the collective cognitive dissonance in Paris was so immense that it reached a generalized psychosis caused by mass denial.

I also realized that this denial of reality and subsequent psychosis can only be found in imperialist countries. "Our treatment of the aboriginals/those with whom we are living alongside and whom we colonized/non-Whites" is totally normal," they insist, as they live under a shroud of silence and feigned "normality". The unsaid reality remains unsaid by both colonized and colonizer (under penalty of social exclusion, jail, death), and the psychosis just mounts and mounts and mounts.

It is normal that this imperialist psychosis occurs in the European Union in 2019, as it is indeed a neo-imperialist project. The question the French cannot quite answer is: are they the still the colonizer, or are they now colonized?

But such questions are all of no importance to the politically regressive. Nothing to see here, even by the French who watch the nightly news - we cannot question "French exceptionalism".

What do I know about the Yellow Vests? I contend that no "mainstream" journalist attended more Yellow Vest demonstrations than I did, at least in Paris. I would also suggest that while I did hundreds of live interviews from the demonstrations - while getting tear gassed, with rubber bullets flying around, literally in between Black Bloc and police - most journalists did zero.

This article was generated by me going back through my list of reports with PressTV in 2019 - it's mostly headlines, quotes (mostly from interviews with Yellow Vests) and short excerpts from my reports. I pass on the highlights, and I also tie together the threads with the advantage hindsight - check the key date of March 16th to see what I mean.

If you are too busy to read it all, I suggest only reading March through May 1 - this is when the Yellow Vest demonstration was gutted via reactionary values which we can call "neo-Vichy", with Brussels replacing Berlin as the master of France's government.

I didn't bother to provide a weblink to the roughly 175 2-3-minute reports I made with PressTV in 2019, but I did include web links to a score of in-depth written reports I did specifically about the Vesters.

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Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, (more...)

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