It’s Not Exactly Storming the Bastille, But Still…

…It’s as kinetic a protest as building barricades in the street and burning cars or dumpsters, but it’s a more focused form of kinesis.

Benjamin Griveaux is the spokesman for President Emmanuel Macron’s “En Marche!” movement, which effectively makes him a spokesman for the French government. At a press conference last week, Mr. Griveaux chided the Yellow Vest movement for mounting what he called an “insurrection” against the French government. The Yellow Vests responded yesterday by hijacking a piece of construction equipment and ramming open the huge doors leading into the courtyard of Mr. Griveaux’s ministry building.

I’ve grown sick of watching all those videos of burning barricades and looting and throwing things at the police. All riots are more or less the same, and quite boring. What happened yesterday, however, was of a different order.

The video of the incident has since gone viral. If I were a major functionary in the French government and had been paying attention to recent events, I’d have a bag packed and ready — as Al Stewart wrote in the song “Running Man”: “the false name inside the passport, the gold bars and the gun” — so as to be able to slip across the border into Switzerland at a moment’s notice. When the situation finally goes sideways, government apparatchiks may not get much in the way of advanced warning.

The video below is a composite of three separate clips. The first shows the press conference in which Benjamin Griveaux admonishes the Yellow Vests, the second shows yesterday’s ramming of the gate at the ministry, and the third has a brief interview with Mr. Griveaux after the storming of his building.

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

Video transcript (in two parts, timed from the original clips):

00:00   We have offered concrete and swift answers
00:04   to first and legitimate questions asked by the movement
00:08   known as the Yellow Vests. In particular, about purchasing power. We have done so
00:12   only twelve days after announcements formulated by the President
00:16   of the Republic, which found their legislative solutions in the work
00:20   begun by the Parliament. Since those announcements,
00:24   the movement called Yellow Vests — at least for
00:29   those who are still mobilized — in fact
00:33   became agitators who desire an insurrection,
00:37   to basically overthrow the cabinet. From now on
00:41   they are engaged in political combat to contest
00:45   the legitimacy of the cabinet and of the President of the Republic, and incidentally,
00:48   those who called for a debate don’t want to
00:53   participate in a big national debate. So I invite
00:57   all of our compatriots to participate in this debate,
01:01   to participate in it actively and make their voices heard. This is important at this time.
       
00:00   Well, it’s never very pleasant to have at your workplace people who arrive and who
00:04   want to smash everything with a construction vehicle. First of all, I praise the serenity
00:08   of the personnel and the security people, and
00:12   I repeat that it wasn’t about me, it was [about] the Republic, the institutions;
00:16   it’s the democratic form of government. I want those who
00:20   wish for insurrection, for armed revolt, who call French people to take up arms
00:26   and march on the Elysée [presidential palace], to know that the Republic still stands,
00:29   and that we won’t give up anything, and the power always stays with the law.
00:33   Those who want to mobilize, who do it with sincerity, should declare a rally.
00:37   You have to declare it to the prefecture. You have the right to rally, which is guaranteed by
00:40   the constitution of our country. And in order for those outbursts and those dramas not to multiply,
00:45   on the streets of Paris, on the streets Bordeaux, on the streets of other towns in France,
00:49   well, they need to de-solidarize themselves very clearly, to condemn very clearly
00:54   the acts of violence like the one that my office was victim of today.
00:58   And I also think that there are numerous people who saw their vehicles,
01:02   their two-wheeled vehicles, their stores vandalized,
01:06   destroyed, burned; you know all those people
01:10   have also been subjected to things for which they aren’t responsible, and this is unacceptable.
01:14   We will not give up anything to violence. It’s not through violent behavior that you will
01:18   change the Republic, and tiny minorities of people who wish to overthrow the cabinet
01:23   won’t make law in our Republic. The power will stay with the law and the Republican Order.
 

15 thoughts on “It’s Not Exactly Storming the Bastille, But Still…

  1. Construction machines make great bullet proof barriers when required.

    Here’s a little ‘whiff of gravel’ for you Mr. Griveaux!!

  2. This spokesman guy does not seem to understand the well-springs of French history.

    A people tamped down with arrogance and dismissiveness can release pressure suddenly. The crowd is not in DoublePlusUngood WrongThought here, the government is.

  3. Okay, but we are missing a few of the characters of the cast for “Vive la Revolucion!” We need the tailor, Robes Pierre, the cardinal, Rich Lou, and of course the pastry chef Marie Antoinette. The street mob is in place and filling their role quite nicely, even though Bastille Day is in July. At least the street mobs have a ‘vested’ interest in things.

  4. There was a a gathering of what the media called far right and nazi protesters(people who object to violence of ‘refugees’ and dilution of workforce) in Australia over the weekend. Media paints a very horrible picture, actual footage is here https://youtu.be/NTqfCG-eMXI

    • If this is not a rhetorical question, then here’ my answer:

      It has something to do with un-invited guests residing among us.

      -Muslims are the protected species, because

      1)they want to destroy Western civilization on general, ( and this is in line with the Plan the Left has had for us for over 100 years)

      and because

      2) they can get angry and hurt a bunch of unsuspecting kafirs.

      Now, that the Yellow Vests in Europe have (and still are) demonstrated that THEY TOO can cast a couple of rocks and set cars and buildings on fire, the second perception might change; at least I hope so.

  5. Well the French always seem to be able to put on a good theatrical protest. That Forklift through the front door was about as good in symbolism you could find.

  6. I am pretty sure the French events are nothing even close to “the situation finally goes sideways” – so pessimistic I am about the lethargic French. They could have voted for Le Pen, blew it royally. Why would anything change now?

    It is merely our wishful thinking – we want to see the treasonous elites to fail, but alas – far, very far from there.

    However – if “finally” means 20 years from now, I would be more hopeful. So perhaps still in my lifetime; I had seen the Iron Curtain falling, and it was a lifetime experience. May I see the globalist cabal fail as well! In the meantime, we in the US still hope for keeping the “brake on the decay” as much as we can. The Donald is still there, ammo replenished and Old Glory flying high: ‘o long may it wave’ …

    • You’re forgetting they weren’t allowed to vote for Le Pen. Many families received torn ballots and none were avaiable at the polling stations, effectively reducing her chance of being elected. And those weren’t just few and far between, if a family of five voters all receive torn ballots it’s hardly a coincidence.

  7. The second clip is lovely!
    I wouldn’t call it a “hijacking”, however, it’s probably owned by one of the protesters, since it’s the working middle class we’re talking about here.

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