‘Frightening’ scenes come out of France as protests continue against Macron

Police in France
Ed Sykes

France’s neoliberal government is currently facing a mass public uprising. Anger against the country’s elites and out-of-touch politicians has led people to take to the streets in pursuit of change. Although the vast majority of France supports the protesters, the police have all too often responded with violence. And now, some very worrying images have been coming out of the country.

Students forced to kneel

Demonstrating students were protesting against government changes to the education system when police decided to crack down. As the BBC reported, the authorities forced the students to “kneel in dirt while facing brick walls”.

One Paris councillor called the scenes “frightening”, “humiliating”, and “unacceptable”.

And the images are indeed very disturbing:

Award-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, meanwhile, tweeted:

The police claimed they suspected those they arrested of participating in an “armed gathering”.

It’s about dignity

There are more protests across France on 8 December, even though the government has responded to protests by cancelling a controversial tax rise which sparked unrest in the first place. Some of the additional demands of protesters are greater taxation of wealthy citizens, a higher minimum wage, and more taxes for multinational corporations. As Greenwald pointed out:

And as Christina, a teacher from Paris, told the Guardian:

[The protesters] are people like me, trying to get by on small salaries while the cost of living keeps rising. It’s not normal that working people cannot live well… [President] Macron needs to wake up to this – he’s giving tax breaks to the rich while the ordinary Joe in the street like me can barely afford the basic necessities in life. Something has to give.

With worrying scenes of police brutality and authorities forcing students to kneel, it looks likely that protests will continue. The ruling elites are clearly scared – and rightly so. Because ordinary people in France are taking matters into their own hands. And no amount of state violence will be able to shut them up.

Featured image via screenshot

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us