Marcus Lissey • Laura Muba
Saturday, October 12, 1 p.m.
When the yellow vests movement began in November 2018 following the Macron government’s decision to raise the tax on diesel, it was characterized by many, including those on the far left, as being a movement of the extreme right – anti-immigrant and anti-ecological. It was a movement that existed outside the major urban centers. And it was outside the unions and political parties that would usually be associated with any significant mobilization. But far from being a minority movement, it is made up of a significant portion of the French population: the poorer sections of the working class, retirees and women. The movement gained widespread support as it demonstrated on the exclusive Champs de Elysees in Paris and battled the police for the right to put forward its grievances. It was made up of hundreds of local “headquarters” with people meeting on the “roundabouts.” Eventually General Assemblies, grouping members or representatives into broader regional bodies started to form to discuss the direction of their movement. This panel will discuss the political developments within this movement and the lessons we have learned in France and how they can relate to revolutionary activists in the U.S.
Marcus Lissey is a community college instructor in Oakland, California, and active in Speak Out Now (a revolutionary socialist organization) for over a decade.
Laura Muba lives in Strasbourg, France. and joined the Yellow Vests Movement during the third Act (the third week of the Saturday demonstrations). Strasbourg was the site of the first General Assembly (GA) where people in the movement came together to decide whether to join the demonstration called by the CGT (the large French industrial union). Three months later they launched a regional GA which brought together 150 representatives or members from 38 local “headquarters”. Laura is a nursing student and militant of the Fraction L’Etincelle in the NPA (New Anticapitalist Party)