As the protests have diluted from the original target of the fuel tax rise (now rescinded) to ... whatever (in one portrayal of various participants, they featured a middle-aged private teacher who is against speed limits* and wants the monarchy back ), it seems the European Left has defaulted to its regular sympathy for French civil disturbances. One article I read cited the grievances the French people had expressed in lieu of the world's downtrodden masses throughout history with shiny eyes, from oppressive feudalism to lack of workers rights to "US war imperialism in Vietnam", and said the demands of The People must be met with more left-wing socialist measures, unless they are snapped up by right-wing socialist measures.
The thing is, I found the numbers in the latest protests are surprisingly low compared to the media coverage. Yesterday it was reportedly 125,000 nation-wide, and just 8,000 in Paris. On 17 November, there were 300,000 participants across France, a week later it was 106,000, another week later 136,000. In 1968, up to half a million protested in Paris alone, and two million went on strike nation-wide. I think many of the more recent protests in Paris have been bigger than the current. The difference is in the self-organization, and that up to 80 percent of the general population are said to sympathize with the movement - no surprise if you can project any cause onto it. By comparison in 1968
[...] A survey taken immediately after the crisis found that 20% of Frenchmen would have supported a revolution, 23% would have opposed it, and 57% would have avoided physical participation in the conflict. 33% would have fought a military intervention, while only 5% would have supported it and a majority of the country would have avoided any action.
At 2:30 p.m. on 30 May, Pompidou persuaded de Gaulle to dissolve the National Assembly and call a new election by threatening to resign. At 4:30 p.m., de Gaulle broadcast his own refusal to resign. He announced an election, scheduled for 23 June, and ordered workers to return to work, threatening to institute a state of emergency if they did not. The government had leaked to the media that the army was outside Paris. Immediately after the speech, about 800,000 supporters marched through the Champs-Élysées waving the national flag; the Gaullists had planned the rally for several days, which attracted a crowd of diverse ages, occupations, and politics. The Communists agreed to the election, and the threat of revolution was over.
Contrary to de Gaulle's fears, his party won the greatest victory in French parliamentary history in the legislative election held in June, taking 353 of 486 seats versus the Communists' 34 and the Socialists' 57. [...]
Despite the size of de Gaulle's triumph, it was not a personal one. The post-crisis survey showed that a majority of the country saw de Gaulle as too old, too self-centered, too authoritarian, too conservative, and too anti-American. As the April 1969 referendum would show, the country was ready for "Gaullism without de Gaulle".
Of course de Gaulle had actually fled to Germany at one point. I daresay Macron feels no need for this, and will survive the protests just fine.
* Now national speed limits on autobahns is something I could see Germans riot over.
Edited by BansheeOne, 09 December 2018 - 0547 AM.