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Here’s a bit more about the bonnets rouges, who held a big anti-tax demonstration across France :

  • Philippe Euzen has a backgrounder at Le Monde — “Ces patrons à l'origine des ‘bonnets rouges’” (the bosses behind the bonnets rouges) — in which he describes how business and entrepreneurial groups with a deregulation/low-tax agenda united with leftish Breton nationalists and decentralization activists to gel this unusual movement.
  • Another backgrounder at France Info looks at an odd variety of angry birds in the French political scene: activist coalitions with names like “Pigeons,” “Chicks,” “Turkeys,” “Dodos,” and “Storks” that are fighting for a variety of causes. Some are trying to crack open an over-regulated and cartelized economy and enable more small-scale entrepreneurialism by overturning laws banning innovations like Airbnb and Lyft — and this is causing the establishment unions, who are invested in the status quo, to turn their backs on the movement.
  • According to a leaked government report based on reports from regional law enforcement officials, “France is on the verge of a ‘social explosion’ over ever-increasing taxes.”

    In the report, the prefects said that roadside cameras installed across France to monitor traffic for the new tax had become symbols of fiscal oppression, and demanded that they be “removed before they are all destroyed”.

  • The government has tried to defuse the protest by “suspending” the new “ecotax” which was origially supposed to go into effect . It is now scheduled for at the earliest.
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