How I Became A Revolutionary And Internationalist:Andre Vltchek

 Binu Mathew, Editor of interviews Andre Vltchek | December 04, 2018

BM: You are one of the foremost critics of imperialism. Can you tell us
how you came to be who you are? Can you tell us about your formative years?

AV: Formative years… There were many of them, and actually, I feel that I am still evolving, until now. People always do, I believe and hope.

I was born in the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, in an unbelievably beautiful city of Leningrad, built by insane Peter the Great and by a few no less insane Italian and French architects, on the shores of wide and powerful river Neva, right near the mosquito-infested swamps.Read More »

Billionaires’ wealth grows faster in France than in any other country

by Guillaume Garnier and Alex Lantier

Bernard Arnault, the master of Louis Vuitton: with a fortune of about US$80bn this plutocrat is now France’s richest man

As President Emmanuel Macron slashes wages and conditions in workplaces across France, the country’s 13 wealthiest people have become $27.6 billion richer since the start of 2018. This has made France the country in the world where billionaires are increasing their wealth the fastest, according to a report published by Bloomberg last week.

Since January alone, the wealth of French billionaires has increased by a whopping 12.2 percent. This compares to 7.1 percent growth for Japanese billionaires, 6.3 percent for Chinese billionaires and 1.2 percent for American billionaires.Read More »

Moving Away From Fossil Fuels Isn’t Separate From Moving Towards Social Justice

by Nagraj Adve

The Wire | December 15, 2018

Moving Away From Fossil Fuels Isn't Separate From Moving Towards Social Justice

Oil twilight. Credit: armbrusterbix/Unsplash

The following interview is the first in a new series that will address salient issues in the impacts and politics of climate change.

Avoiding the catastrophic effects of climate change requires a rapid move away from fossil fuels and lower emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. On behalf of The Wire, Nagraj Adve interviewed Simon Pirani, senior visiting research fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, to understand different aspects of this energy transition. He is also the author of Burning Up: A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption (2018).

The questions are in bold. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.Read More »

Thousands of ‘Yellow Vests’ Hit French Streets in Fifth Saturday of Protests

by Emmanuel Jarry

The Wire | December 15, 2018

Thousands of 'Yellow Vests' Hit French Streets in Fifth Saturday of Protests

Protesters wearing yellow vests kneel on the street as they gather in front of the Opera House as part of the “yellow vests” movement in Paris, France, December 15, 2018. Credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Paris: Thousands of protesters took to the streets of French cities on Saturday in the fifth weekend of nationwide demonstrations against Emmanuel Macron’s government, despite calls to hold off after a shooting in Strasbourg earlier this week.

In Paris, police were out in force to contain possible outbursts of violence. But several major stores, such as the Galeries Lafayette, were open to welcome Christmas shoppers.

On the Champs-Elysees, a handful of topless activists from the feminist protest group Femen faced security forces a few meters away from the Elysee Palace, the president’s residence.

The interior minister said around 69,000 police officers were active on Saturday with a reinforced presence in the cities of Toulouse, Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne.

On Friday, President Macron called for a return to calm in France after nearly a month of protests by the so-called ‘yellow vest’ movement against his government’s policies. The demonstrations have hit growth and caused widespread disruption.

“France needs calm, order and a return to normal,” Macron said, after a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels.

The ‘yellow vest’ movement started in mid-November with protests at junctions and roundabouts against fuel tax increases, but quickly became a wider mobilisation against Macron’s economic policies.

Successive weekends of protests in Paris have led to vandalism and violent clashes with security forces.

In a televised address to the nation on Monday, Macron announced wage rises for the poorest workers and tax cuts for pensioners in further concessions meant to end the movement but many said they would maintain pressure.

The government, as well as several unions and opposition politicians also called on protesters to stay off the streets on Saturday, after four people were killed in a gun attack at a Christmas market in the historic city of Strasbourg.