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Yellow Vests, Against Intense Austerity, Are Sprouting Worldwide

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EIRNS — The impetus for those who wear yellow vests is showing up, spontaneously and internationally, in places as diverse as Ireland, Israel, Canada, and among the celebrated "Beefeaters" who guard the Tower of London. In the midst of this mass strike, some donning the vests may be ignorant of the details of the fight in France, but they have seized upon the vest as a symbol of the fighters against fascist austerity, which austerity is caused by a frantic, purblind attempt to suck out wealth to prop up the bankrupt world financial bubble.

In her Dec. 12 international broadcast, Helga Zepp-LaRouche stated: "[I]t shows how the whole situation is absolutely unstable, and that the neo-liberal paradigm, which we have been discussing now for quite a while, created the conditions for the Brexit, the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the election of the new Italian government, and the Yellow Vest movement. All of these are symbols of the same thing: That you cannot violate the common good of the ordinary people endlessly in favor of the very rich."

Some of the places:

* London: In a rich ironic twist, AFP reported Dec. 21, "Beefeater guards at the Tower of London switched their traditional red uniforms for yellow vests on Friday as they went on strike with staff at other historic sites over pensions." The Beefeaters are technically known as the Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress. They guard the Tower of London, the Queen’s jewels, and Kensington Palace, which is a huge luxurious complex that houses, among others, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle (the Duchess of Sussex), the Duke and Duchess of Kent, et al. The Beefeaters, and the Historic Royal Employees, were just offered a pension plan in which they have to pay much more towards their pension. Their union, by a vote of 91%, decided to strike. They formed picket lines wearing resplendent yellow vests.

* In Israel, the Dec. 22 Ha’aretz reports, "Some 400 protesters demonstrating against the high cost of living blocked a major traffic artery in Tel Aviv on Saturday as part of French-inspired yellow-vest protests, which commenced all across Israel last week. The demonstration cut off access to the Shalom intersection near the Defense Ministry headquarters." David Mizrahi, one of the protest leaders, said "We’ve been going through hell for too long now. We thought it would end but it’s getting harder to make ends meet, the gaps are becoming monstrous."

* In Dublin, the Dec. 22 Irish Sun reports, "In solidarity with the French yellow vest demonstrations, a group called Yellow Vests Ireland took to the streets on Saturday afternoon. Protesters wore high-visibility jackets and chanted anti-government slogans including: `Banks got bailed out, we got sold out.’" Sheila O’Byrne, one of the protesters, exclaimed, "The housing situation is a disgrace. People are left out on the streets when we have buildings lying empty."

* In the oil patch of Alberta, Canada, on Dec. 19 a convoy of 1,000 trucks demanding an oil pipeline to move Canada’s petroleum product to export markets, backed up the the national QEII Highway for 22 km in Nisku.

Oilmen had mass support from the population sporting yellow vests, many of them caught in the backup while trying to attend a pro-pipeline event. Typical was one tweet: "As I try to make my way to @AndrewScheer townhall in Nisku I am caught in middle of large convoy of oilfield workers. Albertans have had enough of PMJT’s [Trudeau’s] devastating anti-energy development policies & are taking to the streets literally show their disgust." Protests spread and continued in Edmonton, Medicine Hat, and Grand Prairie over the weekend.