Taking a page from the Rebeccaite toolbook, tax resisters in Brittany have taken to destroying tollbooths. Here’s a great example (video):
Back in Rebecca’s time, toll gates were real wooden gates that barred the roads to drivers until they paid their tolls, and the resisters’ tools were bonnets and axes. Now, toll gates are automated portals that scan the license plates of passing trucks, and the resisters’ tools are red liberty caps and burning tires full of petrol.
According to a Reuters dispatch from a few days ago, the resisters “have destroyed more than two-dozen sensor-based toll-gates erected over major routes.” This is in addition to many smaller attacks on tinier radar-gun-like outposts.
The French version of Slate has tried to summarize what this rebellion is all about in its article: The “bonnets rouges,” a postmodern revolt.
The government is billing this as an “ecotax” designed less as a revenue-raiser and more as a way of trying to wean French shipping away from the highways and towards less-polluting transportation options. But a new group, the “bonnets verts” (green caps) are asking: if the government cares about the environment so much, why has it doubled the tax on people who use public transit?