The policing of protests in France has become so nakedly repressive that even the United Nations has denounced its excesses. But a new protocol shows that Emmanuel Macron’s administration has chosen to turn violent police tactics into the norm.
Harrison Stetler is a freelance journalist and teacher based in Paris.
Last week, far-right TV pundit Éric Zemmour announced his bid for the French presidency. His first rally this past Sunday was a spectacle of fascist politics and dark references to “civil war.”
French president Emmanuel Macron’s bodyguard Alexandre Benalla has been handed a suspended sentence for violently beating protesters while posing as a cop. It’s a slap on the wrist in a country where elite impunity reigns.
Milipol is the world’s biggest trade fair for homeland security. Last week’s event in Paris was a photo op for far-right politicians like Éric Zemmour that illustrated how the French state is militarizing its response to social protests.
France’s Socialist Party has announced Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo as its candidate to take back the presidency. Yet far from reconnecting with working-class voters, her candidacy illustrates how France’s established parties have lost their roots.
Emmanuel Macron’s administration has used the pandemic as a pretext to create police powers extending far beyond any rational response to COVID-19. It’s the latest in a long line of French governments using moments of national crisis to shred basic civil liberties.
Last summer, left-wing French MP Danièle Obono was portrayed in a nationalist magazine as a slave in chains. She told Jacobin about how the far right is taking over French media — and how Emmanuel Macron’s supporters are adopting its reactionary agenda.
Faced with uninspiring candidates, April’s French presidential election looks set to draw a historically low turnout. Jean-Luc Mélenchon insists he stands for a real alternative — but his task will be turning popular discontent into votes.
France’s neoliberal president, Emmanuel Macron, promised to get tough on climate change. But this week’s move to criminalize protests at airports shows his government would rather get tough on climate activists — the latest in Macron’s attack on civil liberties.
For decades, Europe 1 has been one of France’s most respected radio networks — but under pressure from its new billionaire owners, it’s being merged into the Fox-style CNEWS. Last week, journalists took strike action, trying to stop a French broadcasting icon from becoming yet another far-right echo chamber.
Garbage collectors occupied Paris’s city hall last Tuesday in protest against austerity measures that will make them work more days with no extra pay. Essential workers shouldn’t be the ones to pay for local government’s COVID debts.
Two years since his fuel tax hike was sunk by the Yellow Vests protests, Emmanuel Macron’s new climate law again exhorts the French to show “willpower” in the fight to “make the world great again.” But the law does nothing to impose limits on the most environmentally damaging businesses — instead blaming climate change on citizens’ failure to alter their habits.