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“Fuck the System”: The Offices of Macron’s Party Are Targeted After the Ratification of the EU-Canada Trade Agreement

The permanent offices of “La République En Marche!” deputies have been vandalised or degraded by various actions this past week, particularly in connection with the vote on CETA. The government and the parliamentary majority have strongly condemned these acts.

The acts of degradation and vandalism against the permanent offices of the presidential party “La République En Marche” (LREM) have multiplied in recent days. A phenomenon that manifests itself in the various regions of France. The latest example: on the night of July 29th to 30th, the local LREM deputy for Foix (Ariège) was decorated with tags such as “En Marche or drop dead”, “RIC”, “Fuck the system” or “ACAB” – an acronym in English for “All Cops Are Bastards” or “All Capitalists Are Bastards”.

Le Forum Citoyen de La République En Marche 09 a été dégradé cette nuit. Des tags avec les sigles Anarchiste,…

Geplaatst door La République En Marche 09 op Dinsdag 30 juli 2019

The end of this month of July is not easy for the parliamentary majority: among the vandalised offices there is those of Rémy Rebeyrotte (Saône-et-Loire), Jean Baptiste Moreau (Creuse), Barbara Bessot-Ballot (Haute-Saône), and Carole Bureau-Bonnard (Oise). On July 27th, on the sidelines of a Yellow Vests gathering in Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales), individuals broke the windows of the office of Romain Grau and set it on fire while the deputy was there.

The rejection of CETA – the demand behind many actions

In most of the cases reported, the CETA (Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada) appears to be a motive for the actions against the permanent offices. Applied provisionally since September 21st 2017, validated on July 3rd by the French government, supported by Emmanuel Macron, and approved by the National Assembly on July 23rd, it raises strong reluctance in the opposition of the left and right, but also divides civil society. In this context, many disgruntled farmers have therefore taken action to challenge the deputies who voted for the text. Actions that have been declared on social networks.

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In Lot-et-Garonne, the Departmental Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FDSEA) dumped, on July 26th, piles of manure in front of the offices of Alexandre Freschi, Olivier Damaisin, and Michel Lauzzana. Banners were installed on which one could read: “Vote CETA, we are in the shit”.

Another type of action: on July 25th, FDSEA Haute-Saône posted a photo showing the office of the deputy Barbara Bessot-Ballot being sealed with bricks.

On another occasion, the next day in Creuse, the local FDSEA, accompanied by the young farmers of the department, used the same method. They covered one of their works with the term “Traitor”.

The parliamentary majority strongly condemns

The government and the majority have rebelled against these procedures, while the Central Directorate of Public Security (DCSP) sent on July 29th “vigilance instructions”, asking for mobile patrols around offices regardless of their political colours. On July 29th on BFM TV, the spokesperson of LREM, Aurore Bergé, denounced an “unhealthy and nauseating climate” resulting in “fear”. “THey do not have the right in the Republic, in a democracy, to try to scare me and change my vote or decisions with fear,” she added.

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“I will never be able to accept this violence against Democracy and its values. My door has always been open, and I have always made myself available to those who wish,” Carole Bureau-Bonnard, who had found hay and eggs on the forecourt of her office in Oise, explained on Twitter.

About 20 Breton deputies decided to write a column, published on the website of France Info on July 30th, lambasting a “savage-ification of words and the world” that can only produce the worst and reproaching some for blowing “on these embers” because “they wish for the worst”. They also recall that “it will never be tolerated that violence and destruction replaces dialogue and democracy”.

CETA, a source of anxiety and tension

If these methods are vigorously condemned by the parliamentary majority, they betray a strong rejection in society of CETA. And this, even within the parliamentary majority.

Indeed, the agreement was indeed approved by the National Assembly, by 266 votes against 213, but a first line of fracture appeared in the parliamentary majority, since 52 LREM deputies abstained and 9 voted against it. If abstentions had already been noted, for example, during the examination of the anti-trust bill, this is the first time in the LREM group that some have voted against a text carried by the government.

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According to an OpinionWay poll dated July 29th, 49% of the French are opposed to CETA, against 26% who are in favour.

A text shared on social networks with the hashtag “#AfficheTonLREM” specifically targeted several deputies who voted “against the majority opinion of the French, to the detriment of the environment, future generations, and to comply with the demands of neoliberalism”, i.e., for CETA.

Without any justification for violent actions, the spokesman of “La France Insoumise”, Alexis Corbière, invited on France Info on the morning of July 30th, denounced the “extremism”, in his eyes, of the government: “The extremists are this government. It is they who are the crazy ones, the cranks, free trade sectarians”. He also called for CETA to be voted on via a referendum. “I propose that a referendum be held on CETA, we must return to democracy on this subject. Free trade is part of the big move of the planet that is melting the ice through global warming and changing the climate,” he concluded.


RT France

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