from Voice Of Europe:
Exclusive interview with a Yellow Vest in Paris by Swedish journalist and writer Katerina Janouch with Yellow Vest ‘Pierre’.
(Pierre is not his real name – and he wants to remain anonymous because he is worried about otherwise risking his job). He wants change in France, and he has participated in most of the protests that the Yellow Vests have arranged in Paris.
Katerina asks how his dedication began. “I was tired of sitting at home doing nothing”, he says. “So, therefore, I went out into the streets when the Yellow Vest protests started a few months ago. It felt good to be involved and make a difference.”
Last weekend was messy, Pierre confirms, a group of maybe 100 Antifa supporters were looking to pick a fight. “They are useful idiots of the elite and the police ignore them, and at the same time they attack us peaceful protesters.”
“But there is also a difference in whom you come across. The regular cops are respectful, while the BAC (Brigade Anti Criminalité) are aggressive and don’t know how to handle the protesters.”
“They don’t wear official uniforms, but jeans and black helmets and they are the ones who use violence against ordinary unarmed people. Every time I see them, I cover my face because they shoot flash-balls and they also use other kinds of weapons that are lethal.”
“And there is no justice. One guy threw pâté at the police, he got four months in prison. For throwing pâté! While another who drove into the protesters with the intention of harming people only got a one month suspended sentence.”
“People with yellow vests are judged harder. They try to scare us as much as they can, they use violence and legal penalties against us citizens who protest against the abuse of power.”
Pierre develops his opinion on Macron and the goal of the French Yellow Vests: “Of course we want Macron to resign – but it is not enough to replace him, it is not the solution. For years we have elected different politicians but the result has been the same. They are traitors, they don’t do things that benefit the French people.”
“Macron’s agenda is complete. He was elected by the elite and he destroys France’s sovereignty. For example, it has been said that there is no French culture…”
Katerina breaks in: “A number of Swedish politicians have said that as well. That there is no Swedish culture.”
“It is because they want to wipe out the nation states”, says Pierre. “Weaken the unity of the people and thereby make it easy to control them.”
“Macron and his followers are globalists, they don’t care about the French people. When he was elected, it was as a result of something that could be likened to exhaustion.”
“People were sick of the right and of the left. They were hoping for something new, but they were also intimidated by the media, which painted a picture that there would be chaos if Marine Le Pen’s Front National came to power. And Macron was portrayed as a hero. People wanted change and saw Macron as someone who could give them that.”
Former President François Hollande has been described as an extremely unpopular politician. However, Hollande’s unpopularity fades when one sees and hears how the French people react to Macron today.
“Macron is really despised”, says Pierre. “Wherever he goes, people boo, he can’t go anywhere without being criticised and scolded. I can’t see that he’ll stay in power for three years. He has offended the French too much, over and over again, accusing his own people of being lazy, alcoholics and so on…”
So what do you want to achieve? Macron’s resignation, and what else?
“We want direct democracy”, says Pierre. “The constitution must be amended. If there are laws we disagree with, we should be able to repeal them.”
“If the politicians don’t work for us, we should be able to get rid of them. The battle will be hard, it’s we the people against the elites, and they hold on to what they have, they don’t want to let go of their power. But we will fight until they fall.”
Do you want France to leave the EU?
“Yes, I want Frexit, many Yellow Vests want it, although not everyone. But I’m tired of French laws being dictated by Brussels.”
“Those of us who want Frexit don’t want Brussels to control and make decisions about France without us having anything to say about it. And I don’t trust the politicians in Brussels. They don’t act in the interest of the people.”
“In the past I believed in the EU. But now that I see what they have done with Europe, I don’t want it anymore. The EU is not working for the good of the Europeans. Juncker sits there and speaks with contempt of the people, disempowering them.”
“They’re threatening that there will be chaos if the countries leave the EU. They scare people. But what is the chaos? I believe in a pure trade union, not a superiority that interferes in how the countries are governed and questions freedom of expression and so on.”
“We need a Bruxit – to get rid of the bureaucrats who work for lobby organisations, and replace them with people who work for Europe’s best. But it’s not easy, these systems are so ingrained.”
Nevertheless, Pierre believes a change for the better will come. “Macron is the last symbol of globalism, we see how these elites fall. Like Merkel. Instead, Salvini, Trump, Kurz in Austria are elected… more and more countries are starting to wake up.”
“We will not give up! We are full of fighting spirit and strong in the knowledge that the people always prevails in the end. They don’t want more abuse of power and a detached elite who controls them. We want direct democracy, an opportunity to remove politicians who harm the country, and to tear up laws that don’t benefit our people.”
“We won’t give up. If nothing else, we will fight for those who have been injured, for people who lost their eyes and others who have been beaten up and assaulted. Their injuries will not be in vain.”
What do you want to say to the Yellow Vests in other countries?