Military and Police

French Cops Side with Citizens Over ‘Green’ President

My mother was born in Paris, France in 1939. Yes, the implications of the place and time are not lost on me. She spent the first years of her life under Nazi occupation. She grew up listening to her uncle’s stories about his service with the French Army and then the Resistance.

This instilled in her a strong sense of patriotism very early on. In fact, as much as she loved America, and though she was more than qualified for U.S. citizenship after living in the United States since 1959, she never became an American citizen. The older she got the more she felt it would be disloyal to France. I admired her devotion.

So, the violence and destruction occurring in Paris and other parts of France saddened me. I was particularly struck by the vandalism to the Arc de Triomphe. My mother was born within sight of that marvelous monument.

But this organic movement, along with its violent and destructive civil unrest, inspired by a tone-deaf, virtue-signaling, climate-changeling French president, was avoidable. The French government instituted a “carbon tax,” which caused fuel prices to soar.

People saw gas prices skyrocket to $7 per gallon. If prices rise due to market forces, people may not like it, but they can understand it. When the government causes rising fuel prices with politically-motivated tax hikes, it seems the people have had enough.

Fortunately, President Macron has rescinded the “green” tax. Unfortunately, it may be only temporary and reportedly could be reinstated next summer. Too little too late? Perhaps. Macron’s approval rating has dropped to 23 percent.

Now, I obviously don’t support violence or property destruction, but this is what happens when a supposedly democratic government shoves political edicts disguised as environmental policy down their people’s throats—for their own good.

The leftist elites refuse to understand the average person is smarter than they think. People can see through these political shams. Sure, the French people care about the environment. And as a people, they’ve allowed their country to lean to the political left for decades. Now, this turmoil is because of the uber-leftist Paris Climate Accord. The left always pushes too far.

These riots are a signal that the socialist Jenga tower is toppling in France, Italy, and other European countries. As in the U.S., the French, Italians, Austrians, etc. won’t put up with corrupt leftist governments forever. With unchecked immigration and carbon taxes, European governments lit the fuse on the dynamite that is now detonating. And when government leaders lose the cops’ support —and especially the support of firefighters this is a true sign they’ve gone astray and care more about their political ideology than about their people.

Kevin Jackson, of, writes, “While Macron pretends to be about law and order–open borders notwithstanding–he’s no Trump when it comes to protecting the police.” French cops injured during this national upheaval are on Macron. He should have expected this reaction. Better yet, he shouldn’t have instituted this needless carbon tax. Anyone could have seen this coming. You can’t disrespect the people like this in a democracy and expect to get away with it.

British independent journalist/activist Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) tweeted, “Macron says he will impose a #StateofEmergency against the #gilletJaunes (yellow vests). The firefighters turned their backs. Now the police remove their helmets to show solidarity with the French people AGAINST Macron. Vive la révolution. Macron démission (Long live the revolution. Macron resign).”

The cops who did this don’t represent all French police officers. Each will respond to the demonstrators with whom they are dealing at the moment. It looked like there were different types of groups protesting. The average people pissed off at the government for abusing them. And the radical opportunists who are always ready to take advantage of civil unrest to commit mayhem.

Among the average, peaceful, French protesters, some cops felt comfortable taking their helmets off, signaling support for the protesters. However, I’m guessing the gendarmerie are not about to remove their helmets during a violent protest. Yeah, I’d have to advise against that. However, Europe’s leftist governments should pay attention when cops and firefighters side with the people over the government that employs them. Come to think of it, American governments should take this advice, too.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at

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