Les gilets noirs: a French protest movement defending migrants' rights

The gilets jaunes/yellow vests protest movement mobilized in France over a slate of grievances, led by President Macron's plan to meet emissions targets by punishing poor and a rural people, while dealing out massive favors to the country's wealthy elites. As the movement spread around the world, it took on different characters: sometimes lefty, sometimes right-wing, sometimes explicitly racist. Read the rest

After Notre Dame bailout Yellow Vests urge more Victor Hugo tributes, starting with "Les Miserables"

The Notre Dame fire is a global tragedy, and it's also raising complicated questions about our present moment, including trenchant inquiries into which church fires merit global outpourings and whose sacred sites get mourned when they are destroyed. Read the rest

Cataloging the far right elements of the Yellow Vest movement

The Yellow Vest movement, like a lot of anti-establishment movements, is a complex phenomenon, filled with both right- and left-wing elements, changing character from place to place and even day to day. Read the rest

German neofascists used Qanon to expand their reach

Germany's Alternative For Germany (AfD) party (previously) are an insurgent neofascist movement with ties to senior mainstream politicians and the country's super-wealthy would-be oligarchs; the party put on a hard push in the the 2018 Bavarian elections and their meme warfare was full of familiar voter-suppression tactics, from garden-variety disinformation to exhortations to stay home on election day. Read the rest

Anti-corruption yellow vest protesters in Dublin's streets, protesting the 2008 bailout, Catholic church scandals, spiraling housing costs and no legal weed

Hundreds of yellow vest protesters marched in Dublin yesterday; like the French gilets jaunes who inspired them, the Irish yellow vests marched for a wide variety of causes, with no unified set of demands: the 2008 banker bailout (arguably the worst in the world since the Irish government has explicitly warned the banks it wouldn't guarantee their reckless loans, but still paid them off when the bubble burst); the continuing and ghastly revelations of scandals in the Church (including the forced-labor camps that unwed mothers were condemned to, and the scandal that the of storage tanks contained secret mass graves filled with the remains of infants); the spiraling costs of housing in Ireland; and the heel-dragging by the Irish government on legalizing marijuana. Read the rest

Facing unpaid overtime, cuts and austerity, French cops threaten to join Gilets Jaunes protesters

When French President (and ex-investment banker) Macron decided to cut taxes for the super-rich and make up the shortfall by taxing diesel fuel (widespread in poor rural areas) but not private jet fuel, he put the already-precarious French treasury into an even more precarious state. Read the rest