France is bracing for a tense weekend, as “yellow vest” protestors have called for their fourth demonstration on Saturday. The movement, which started as a response to a proposed hike in fuel taxes, is continuing to protest despite the government’s decision – earlier this week – to walk back the tax increase.
Mabel Berezin, professor of sociology at Cornell University, is an expert on French politics and the history and development of populism and fascism in Europe. She is the author of “Illiberal Politics in Neoliberal Times: Cultures, Security, and Populism in a New Europe?” and says that what makes the “yellow vest” movement highly worrisome is its lack of affiliation with any political parties.
“Parties can bargain, negotiate and control protest.
“This protest represents a complete rejection of commonly recognized political institutions. It is a worrisome expression of pure anger and the government seems to have no idea how to deal with it.”