The Voices of Français de Souche

Hundreds of thousands of French people took to the streets over the weekend to protest the rising cost of living, and in particular the rise in diesel prices that resulted from a fuel tax increase. The protesters are known as “Yellow Vests”, based on the characteristic brightly-colored traffic safety vests they wear as a symbol of their movement.

Politicians and the media have denounced the Yellow Vests as “fascists”. In the following video, ordinary people among the street demonstrators are interviewed and asked their opinions about this derogatory characterization.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Note: This video is a composite of four separate clips, and the transcript reflects the times in the original footage.

Video transcript:

Part   1
00:00   So, Catherine and Stephanie, hello, what would you say
00:04   to answer people who say that the Yellow Vests movement
00:08   is a fascist movement of contemptible extreme-right people.
00:12   It’s not true, because we are people
00:16   from the middle class, modest,
00:20   and we are here to claim our housing benefits and other subsidies,
00:24   our pensions, the diesel, the taxes, everything.
00:28   For retired people, for everything. We fight for our future.
00:32   So we would also have a future. For the French people to have a future, because, in fact, we are
00:35   dying a lingering and ignominious death here! —And you personally, what difficulty
00:40   are you confronted with every day? Like everybody else: we [barely] survive! We [barely] survive.
00:44   We [barely] survive. We fight every day and we survive. It’s not with the people, with what
00:47   they give us, that we will make a trip worth €40 thousand. No. We aren’t Madame Macron.
00:52   We cannot afford that. Voilà.
Part   2
00:00   I’m angry about all the price increases in general.
00:04   Concerning retired people, concerning fuel,
00:08   concerning everything, everything, angry about everything!
00:12   The increases. In all the taxes. I feel that enough is enough. For everybody, for everybody.
00:16   Yes. It’s too much. It’s not only because of the fuel: it’s an aggregate.
00:20   All the price increases for the retired people.
00:24   We don’t live in Paris where they pay well. We get a small pension of €800 [$916/mo]. I’d like
00:27   to see if Monsieur Macron could live on €800 per month!
00:32   He can give us his salary and we will give him ours. Gladly.
00:36   WE don’t fuss.
00:40   Ladies, gentlemen, what is your reaction when you hear some people say
00:44   that the Yellow Vests movement is a movement of fascists
00:48   and of people of the extreme right? Nonsense! Not at all! Not at all!
00:52   It’s a non-political movement. There’s no politics in it!
00:57   It’s the ‘enough is enough’ of society. It’s the ‘enough is enough’ of everybody. Everybody
01:00   is affected! Small ones, big ones, medium ones, everybody is affected. Everybody is affected.
01:05   I’m saying: Macron is playing,
01:09   and he wants to play big boys, but there he has it all wrong with the people.
01:13   That I can tell you. What will happen to our grandchildren, above all?!
01:17   We are thinking especially about them, because things have gone too far.
01:24   So we already have almost nothing, and they, what are they going to have? Nothing at all.
01:28   Voilà. And we are forced to… well…
01:32   The salary we earn, it’s to [pay] for diesel. Is this normal? We will be working
01:36   [only] in order to pay for the diesel… We aren’t even able to go out,
01:40   we aren’t able to have to have any leisure any longer. This has to end. Macron,
01:44   who is he playing with? Is he playing with the people? He has it all wrong.
01:49   He lost with us. Oh, it doesn’t matter: HE is eating well.
Part   3
00:00   I lost my wife eleven years ago, and I was receiving €430 [US $492/mo],
00:04   and they took away €50 [US $57] on my reversion.
00:08   And now I get €380 [US $435].
00:12   And I was receiving ASS [type of welfare] for some time
00:16   because I was unemployed at that time,
00:20   and I had €500 plus my reversion, so I had €880 Euros [US $1000]
00:24   a month. To live on,
00:28   and to pay for my car so I could look for a job.
Part   4
00:00   I’m Fabrice, and I’m here because my grandfather did ’68 [1968 protests in France];
00:04   we used to have [purchasing] power, and ever since, with every president, they take away,
00:08   take away more, more, and one of these days we will all end up on the street.
00:12   So we need some purchasing power, we need money. They are saying that it’s only
00:16   a little movement, but it might very well grow! Because there, they need
00:20   to stop over-taxing the people, because we can’t have the purchasing power. We can’t have
00:24   the purchasing power because we pay too much in taxes. And they talk about electric vehicles —
00:28   Who’s going to buy electric vehicles? Those who earn at least €3000 a month. You need money!
00:32   And a guy with €1200, when he’s paid his bills, well, he doesn’t have anything any more.
00:36   Therefore that’s what they have to understand. That’s all.
00:40   You need the money it takes, me — like I wrote on my banner —
00:44   we are on the level of the May 2 1968. If they continue to tax people, well, people will
00:48   have enough and the all of France will be rallying.
00:52   So it’s cool to come to Charleville, play a handsome guy [Macron], and make his little politics,
00:56   but he should learn to live on €1200 a month and he’ll see how it is. Because as long as he isn’t
01:00   living the real [life] like we do, he won’t know how it is. Voilà. Once a banker always a banker.
01:04   My father got €1100 a month.
01:08   I lived like that, when we ate [only] potatoes, when my father was working for me, my mother,
01:12   my sister; we lived in poverty — when you eat potatoes every day. This, Macron has never known,
01:16   He doesn’t know that. They are paying the people to shut up. It’s a little of what’s happening.
01:20   It’s a little bit of what’s going on. There are many people who are in the class… at the very bottom,
01:25   but they are being given a minimum to live, and so they stay silent.
01:29   Nothing happens. But the day they take [that] away,
01:33   it will be May 1968, and that’s it. We’ll get there.
01:37   We’re on our way there. Thank you.

6 thoughts on “The Voices of Français de Souche

  1. People just don’t understand that Macarons, Princes Charleses and AlGores – all these happy people who fly business jets and talk about man made global warming – that they actually do want to destroy western economies to bring new order out of all that chaos…

    • …climate change – one of the ‘sustainable’ weapons in the arsenal being used to introduce & empower those organisations intent on ostensibly saving the planet and the electorate, and which is being used to help diminish and replace national governments with the goal of one unified global controlling entity..
      From the European position: the European Council on Foreign Relations – an NGO thinktank founded in 2007 and comprised of 300 senior authorities (ex-PMs, Nato secretaries, politicians, activists, lobbyists, etc).
      (Easily confused with the similarly named Foreign Affairs Council of the EU).
      The European Council on Foreign Relations is one of the drivers for the Global Parliament of Mayors, who’ve been instituting themselves into cities worldwide, regardless of whether the electorate rejects the idea or not. The UK now has additional new mayors for the large urban areas of Bristol, Manchester with more to come. These ostensible representatives of the people have a focus of course on the local concerns of business investment, transport infrastructure & social issues. However the long increasing clamour on red-hot global concerns for urban sustainability that engage the local electorate’s attention is certainly helping the agenda by accessing into those amenable homes and private lives (eg. utility providers pushing to install ‘free’ domestic digital water, electricity meters that give real-time private customer usage data to providers/corporates/EU-central regulations. The cost of ‘free’ meters are recouped from customers in their subsequent bills.) And of course the new layers of local mayoral bureaucracy and authority do, by their very purpose, draw power away from the central Parliament at Westminster – a sharing of the workload, we were told. How necessary are these regional ‘global mayors’ in a small island already covered by a central UK Westminster Parliament, three regional governances (Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland), county & borough administrations, borough mayoral representation, and current EU Parliament representation (until 2019). Do we really need more bureaucracy to fund? – we innocently ask.
      (The Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, likewise have already drawn devolved authority away from the central government, and both established in the 1990s under Tony Blair and in keeping with the EU objective of fragmenting countries into regions, with a resultant eventually diminished/obsolete central government. (The Scottish Parliament may vote on matters pertaining in England but Westminster politicians in England may not vote on matters pertaining in Scotland. Indeed.)
      ‘Devolved’ government to local agency representation is an EU objective, thence to be controlled from Brussels.

      And so it is with the global mayoral chain – intending to link round the globe and bypass & eventually make redundant national sovereign governments. Those regional ‘governances’ answerable to a central control body located remotely. Polit bureau-style.
      For info:

      And this gives a very interesting ultimate position:

      • You are describing a situation where you have interlocking and self-reinforcing bureaucracies draining power and control from real political and national bodies, such as parliaments, Prime Ministers and cabinet officials. Bureaucracies are by definition perpetual and unaccountable, so once established, they inevitably drain power and money from other institutions.

        This has been described as anarcho-Tyranny, where the citizen’s life is tightly controlled in certain areas like freedom of expression, but in other areas, such as protection from criminals, the citizen is left to fend for himself.

        This leads me to the assertion that there has to be a strong government, subject to political correction, at some level of aggregation. In most cases in Europe, the nation is the appropriate level of control, but in some cases where a country is hobbled together by clustering several very different regions, such as Spain with the Basques or the French, German, Italian and Flemish provinces of Switzerland, there may need to be some readjustment.

        By the way, strong government does not necessarily mean intrusive government, as the libertarians often confuse. You can have a strong government dedicated to allowing free-market solutions to most or all problems not involving national security.

        I sympathize with the French complaining that taxes drive the fuel increases. This is likely true, but left unaddressed is the necessity for any government to live within its means. In other words, if fuel prices rise high enough through actual market supply-and-demand, it is not the province of the government to assure low fuel prices.

    • PS. .. it would be interesting to get feedback from other readers, and within the EU, on how people are affected in their lives …

      • Uhu how to answer concisely?

        The Netherlands, pirate radio calling here.

        Our natural gas cost last month was 170€- 60€ for gas, 110€ for taxes. Electra was higher with higher taxes. We are supposed to move from gas to electra because gas is bad (!!!). It’s ‘cheaper’ to use electra. Sure it is.

        New homes/flats built don’t have gas either. Gas fields in Groningen are closing. We are told gas is almost gone. Perhaps it’s more to do with not wanting to pay damages to residents in that province. North Sea has massive gas fields that are being mined. Curious isn’t it, that electra is less? Where is mined gas going then?

        Benzine costs have gone down past few days. ~1.55€/liter in our area. 0.75€ is tax.

        That lovely tax cut from Rutte? Sure it helps! Haven’t spoken with a person yet it has helped but then we are peasant class.

        Tweedekamer promised this September everything becomes better but it’s become worse. Gemeente taxes increased, medical costs and insurance increased, kosten voor Kinder opvang (child costs) increased. How is this better for us? Who benefits? That is the question. Who indeed?

        Food costs have risen again. It’s now sale price on items this year that were regular price last year (kilo hutspot 1€ sale price when that was norm a year ago, 2 or 3 even depending on area). Cleaning products also have increased in cost. Smaller amounts in bottles for same price means increase those who care to argue.

        Oddly, amusingly, pork is more expensive. Hmm why is that? Strange but maybe not so strange.

        This is what I see and experience.

        What else is, is that people are becoming angry. Strangers quietly asking, making pointed comments with added emphasis.

        I am not Dutch. Maybe for this reason I am asked more often now where I source my news without me ever commenting.

        Sadly many have blinkers on yet. Really one could say it is intentional at this point.

        Nothing Monday or Tuesday in newspapers on yellow vests. Articles on Zwarte Piet slanted based on bias of paper. Most were pro antifa.

        Do het normaal! Ja maar wat is normaal?

        (Thank you GoV for your work, your energies, your honesty, integrity and dedication)

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