We need to talk about Yellow Vests

Since November 2018 revolutionaries around Europe and the World have looked on in admiration at the organised and radical protests taking place in France, the numbers at these protests are quite large, and they have basically brought Paris to a stand-still every Saturday, there have been skirmishes and lock downs yet the French people still come out in vast numbers every Saturday to make their presence known. The Yellow Vest movement in France for those of us looking on in Ireland took us quite by surprise, we all rushed to get as much information as we could as to what was going on, who was leading these protests and what their demands were, what seems to kick it off was a proposed fuel increase in 2019, in particular an increase on Diesel tax, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the French people and so using the Yellow hi-vis vests that all French motorists are legally mandated to carry in their cars in case of a breakdown, this became the uniform of the resistance, hence the name Yellow Vests.



It was only a matter of time before other countries started copy-cat movements. Ireland predictably followed suit. Within days of the major French protests, I saw Facebook posts pop up from many involved in the activist scene calling for a Yellow Vests Ireland movement and within days of that Facebook pages claiming to be Yellow Vests Ireland had appeared. I had my reservations but looked on with interest. As a Republican civil disobedience, protests against the state and any kind of opposition to the state is right up my street, and so I dared to hope.

My first port of call of research was to visit the page of “Yellow Vest Ireland”, what I encountered was obviously a one man band running a page, a person with deep partitionist ideological views and someone who was seriously not interested in discussion, whoever was running this page determined that the “National Issue” was irrelevant and all that mattered was holding the “Irish Government” to account and that matters pertaining to partition or Independence were of no consequence, my hackles went up, and I realised instantly the deep seated flaws that any Yellow Vest movement in Ireland would have.

There have in the last few weeks been Saturday Protests in Dublin by Yellow Vest Ireland, although this is far from a united group, to date I have counted 3 separate groups all claiming to be Yellow Vests Ireland and all in opposition to each other however they all seem to unite on the street for these protests. There is even a further “Yellow Vests Northern Ireland” which is enough to put me off my ready brek.

The protests in Dublin have garnered a bit of media coverage and had enough in attendance to close the Port tunnel and cause a bit of disturbance, all well and good. I do not doubt for many the intentions of creating a Yellow Vest movement in Ireland are good, however, as a Republican it doesn’t even come close to ticking the boxes.


I suppose, even though initially I dared to hope I knew it would be a damp squib for me. At the heart of Yellow Vests is that they have demands, demands of a Government that I do not recognise, these demands concern governmental reforms which in turn in a way give legitimacy to the Freestate Government, they have not countered any of these demands with any sort of Republican logic. They are from the outset just the same as Protest group that you would get in any European Country; the problem here is, is that Ireland is just not any European Country.

I am and always will be first and foremost an Irish Republican, any organisation or Political protests that I support must have as its priority the independence of this Country. To me this is fairly logical, not only because I am Ideologically predispositioned this way, but because I have zero interest in reformist politics, I do not want to reform the Freestate Government, nor do I want to reform the 6 county State, I want to REMOVE them both and re-establish the Irish Republic. 



Yellow Vests Ireland do not go far enough, their demands are basic at best, they fail to comprehend the underlying issues in Ireland, and although they call themselves “Yellow Vests Ireland”, their demands seem to stop at the border, they have not included the people of the 6 counties at all and this kind of partitionist thinking irks me.

They fail majorly to understand the fundamental problems that persist in Ireland, the British occupation, the division of our people, resources and wealth or to recognise that the Freestate Government is an Illegitimate Puppet Government in cahoots with The Brits and the EU.

I suppose therein lies the problem for me, at the heart of Yellow Vests is that they have demands, demands of a Government that I do not recognise. They are mimicking badly a French protest movement, France an independent and Sovereign Country, France which has every right to demand reform of THEIR government.

The Yellow Vests Ireland groups have published a list of 18 demands, not one of these demands even hints at the ongoing partition or occupation of this Country or that it is a problem, I mean they couldn’t have 19 demands and include the elephant in room? The issue that has been causing heartache, strife and death for Centuries is entirely ignored, they have 18 demands but 19 demands would be too much? This was a choice rather than an oversight and tells me that there isn’t a vocal Republican element involved despite claims to the contrary.

Ireland does not stop at the Border and it is about time that protest groups and so called radicals understood this. Why do we in Ireland have a Yellow Vest movement at all? I have written before about “Cultural Cringe” and how many in Ireland suffer from it, it is an internalised Inferiority Complex that causes people in a country to dismiss their own culture as inferior to the cultures of other countries. Surely we can create our own protest movement that isn’t a copycat of a protest movement in France. Ireland is a very different Country, we have our own set of issues and problems and the biggest difference between France and Ireland is that Ireland is partly occupied by a Foreign Government and our Country is divided, that this didn’t make it onto a Yellow Vests list of 18 biggest problems in Ireland astounds me.

The 21st January 2019 will mark 100 years since the first meeting of the 1st Dáil Eireann, the Government of the true Republic, a monumental meeting made up of a dedicated revolutionary council of patriots, that we have 100 years on people lobbying, recognising and making demands of the Anti-Dáil with not even a scant mention of the independence of this Country is not radical or revolutionary, it is in comparison conservative and utterly orthodox. 



I do believe we need a serious revolutionary movement in this Country, but I do not think Yellow Vests comes even close to the mark, at the heart of any true revolutionary movement in Ireland must be the demand for the Irish Republic, a truly radical and revolutionary Republic for all the People of Ireland, any so called movement that ignores the need for the Irish Republic is nothing more than a façade open to exploitation by Political opportunists and pseudo radicals. We have seen this already from the high profile involvement of alt right figures and other such unsavoury characters.

My advice to any Republican would be, let them have it, stay out of it, do not swell their numbers for them. The only movement for us is one that at its heart calls for the Irish Republic, which is true revolutionary Politics in Ireland.

Cáit

Comments

  1. well written Cait x 100 percent i was interested until the lets protest stormont to make it more workable thus endorsing partition and using the old trap the brits have done so often, killing the flame of freedom by an "acceptable" level of peace and kindness.

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    Replies
    1. 100%, a peaceful suffering and people are prepared to accept it

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  2. Too hasty they were, shouldve asked for help from French to set up here. Having lived in France, I know how different things are there. You're absolutely right, and I agree we must only demand the true Irish Republic. We need to inspire people, to join in demanding that.

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