French philosopher Alain de Benoist says that the yellow vest movement that started in France and is now spreading to other European countries is “historic” and unlike any other protest.
Speaking to Hungarian daily Magyar Hirlap, Benoist noted how protesters are driven by two factors – cultural insecurity which is driven by mass migration and social insecurity which is driven by the soaring cost of living. He notes that when these two factors blend, a “rebellion” is inevitable.
“Immigration has become an increasingly unbearable problem in recent years and people know that more people are coming. In addition, social tension is growing as rich people are richer and the poor are poorer,” said Benoist.
The philosopher notes that the movement is unlike any other because it unites people with shared grievances from both sides of the political spectrum.
“This is a historic event because it is different from any other protest we have seen in recent years. It was launched from the bottom, completely independent of the parties and trade unions, and it can not be categorized either clearly right or left,” said Benoist.
He added that the huge support from the French population, 70 per cent in some polls, is a telling factor and a sign that people have completely lost faith in the political elite and the media.
“What they see on TV or in the newspapers is completely different from what they experience in their daily lives,” said Benoist, adding that “democracy” and “liberalism” are no longer synonymous with each other because the EU is an illiberal authoritarian body.
Meanwhile, in another sign that the French government is keen to accomodate protesters’ demands, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe admitted that massive mistakes were made in responding to the demonstrations and that, “We did not listen enough to the French people.”
“I remain convinced that they want this country to be transformed,” he added.
While French protesters again gathered in major cities this past weekend, perhaps the most incendiary clashes occurred in Belgium, where around 5,000 demonstrators rallied against mass immigration.
Officers resorted to using water cannons and tear gas during the clashes. One incident caught on tape shows a man being tear gassed directly in the face before falling to the ground as police shove him aside.
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