Socialist Worker

International round-up - Yellow Vests defy cops in France and deadlock in Israel

Issue No. 2696

 

Yellow Vests protested in Paris last Saturday

Yellow Vests protested in Paris last Saturday (Pic: @GiletsJaunes94/Twitter)


Yellow Vests took to the streets of Paris last Saturday, but their numbers were much lower than anticipated.

Some of the movement’s high-profile figures had urged people to stay away due to concerns about coronavirus.

And the government banned all gatherings of over 100 the day before.

Those who did assemble were met with aggressive police repression—tear gas and many arrests.

Unsurprisingly the municipal elections held on Sunday saw a disastrously low turnout of just 45 percent.

The government was simultaneously telling people to stay at home and come out to vote.

Those who did vote mainly delivered a verdict of no confidence in president Emmanuel Macron’s party.

Green candidates did well in many big cities, leading the race in Lyon, Strasbourg and Grenoble.

Ominously a handful of candidates from the fascist National Rally were re-elected with outright majorities.

The best far left vote was in Bordeaux where a united list headed by Philippe Poutou of the NPA party took 12 percent.

The second round of the elections, set for this Sunday, were cancelled due to coronavirus.


Political deadlock stops new Israeli government

Israeli politicians have nominated right wing racist Benny Gantz to be their next prime minister instead of right wing racist Binyamin Netanyahu.

But their hatred of Palestinians could still stop them from forming a government.

Israeli president Reuven Rivlen asked Blue and White Party leader Gantz to attempt to form a government on Monday.

It’s the latest step in an extended political crisis that has left Israel without a government for a year, despite three national elections.

Gantz was nominated by 61 members of Israel’s parliament—the Knesset—out of 120 and now has six weeks to form a government.

But the politicians who backed him against Netanyahu may not agree to join a government with him.

At least two members of his own party say they won’t join a government backed by Arab parties, as does the nationalist Avigdor Lieberman.

That would deprive Gantz of a majority.

And the Arab parties may themselves—rightly—refuse to serve with Gantz.

He has promised to annexe Palestinian land and has boasted of sending Gaza “back to the stone age” when in charge of Israel’s war on the Palestinian territory in 2014.


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