Europe’s powder keg is growing dangerously close to an explosion as unrest spreads from France to surrounding mainland nations. These protests are unified by many different factors such as dissatisfaction with mass migration and anger at economic failures blamed on President Emmanuel Macron. But most significantly, they are united by the use of yellow by those who have taken to the streets.
The “Yellow Vest” protests are in fact, a color revolution.
While color revolutions can morph into popular resistance movements, they are at their core professionally organized and instigated, sometimes at the state level. In the case of Europe’s Yellow Revolution, the big winner, and also one of the only states to avoid unrest, is Great Britain.
I. Understanding Color Revolutions
Color revolutions are a strategy of fomenting unrest within a country with the ultimate goal of removing the state’s current regime from power. The term was popularized by the media in the early 2000’s to describe the wave of revolutions that broke out across the former Soviet Union and Balkans during that time period. However, color revolutions have been occurring for many decades prior in various locations around the world. Both China and Russia consider color revolutions to be a US and European method of fomenting regime change in hostile nations.
More recently, the Ukraine Maidan movement and Arab Spring could be considered color revolutions, as could the “Make America Great Again” movement in the United States. These operations are exceedingly intricate, requiring financial support, social conditioning, training and coordinated online and media information campaigns to successfully pull off.
Color revolutions are never entirely organic. They may benefit from pre-existing political strife, but at their core they are operations requiring extensive planning and meticulous execution.
II. Historic British Involvement With Color Revolutions And Protest Infiltration
Britain has a history of involvement not only with color revolutions but with systematic infiltration of protest movements by their law enforcement and intelligence services. In the current day, Britain is commonly perceived as a post-colonial power without significant influence when compared to rising stars such as China. As former NSC staff member Richard Levine has previously explained, Britain maintains some of the power and control it enjoyed during the British Empire through its influence over members of the Commonwealth of Nations (albeit in a reduced capacity). Security magazine European Geostrategy ranked the UK as a “Global Power” second only to the United States in terms of its international reach. As Britain no longer overtly rules any of the nations in the Commonwealth, this influence must be maintained in part by infiltration and shadow networks.
Britain has in the recent past involved itself in fomenting and encouraging color revolutions in the Middle East. The UK was one of several members who became overtly involved in supporting the revolution against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya during the Arab Spring. In addition to overt military support, British special forces were secretly deployed on the ground and blended with local Libyan forces as part of efforts to force a regime change in the country. This operation was not revealed until 2012, a year after Gaddafi’s death. Embedding with foreign resistance groups in order to support and direct their campaigns has been part of the UK playbook since the Second World War.
The United Kingdom has also infiltrated protest groups within Europe as well, often encouraging them to commit acts of violence in the process.
In 2009, the Guardian revealed that a British police officer had traveled to 22 different countries on a fake passport including Ireland, Iceland and Spain. Targeted movements included green, “anti-racist” and anarchist groups. Kennedy was a member of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, a secretive organization run by a private limited company which allows it to remain exempt from freedom of information laws and other public accountability checks and balances. A database published by the Guardian on October 15th, 2018 revealed that British police had infiltrated 124 movements since the 1970’s.
III. Protests Bear Signs Of Professional Organization, Target Only Mainland European Nations
The Yellow Vest protests in France can be considered to be part of a “yellow” color revolution that has been professionally organized with the goal of exploiting European dissatisfaction with their current leadership. Although the protests have been painted as being the work of right-wing nationalist populists, reports from French media reveal a number of extremist left and anarchist organizations have embedded with the protests, as evidenced by the presence of anti-capitalist and anti-police slogans used in the protests and left behind as graffiti. Given that the British have infiltrated such groups in the past, the chances for aggravation of violence are great, particularly since similarly infiltrated far-right groups have also become involved. The likelihood of conflict between such factions is serious.
The current protests are analogous to the Arab Spring in many ways. Much like in Libya where Gaddafi enjoyed British and Western support prior to his ousting, Macron was a favorite of the City of London where he raised more campaign funds than in 9 of France’s largest cities (Paris excluded). France has seen unrest not only in the mainland, but also in their colony of Reunion where the military was deployed to calm violence and looting. But the protests are not limited to France and French territories. Yellow revolution inspired protests have been seen in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Much like in Libya, protestors calling for the resignation of the current ruling regime have little in common ideologically and a civil conflict between different groups once Macron is gone would be likely. French officials have also warned that the unrest is likely to provide opportunities to terror groups, much like what occurred in the aftermath of Gaddafi’s demise.
Extraordinarily, no British nationalists have called for “yellow vest” protests in the United Kingdom, even as they cheer events in France as a sign of the failure of globalism. Britain would be a natural location for such a movement considering that the completely inept government of Theresa May has directly defied the will of voters over Brexit, continued to introduce Orwellian censorship and done almost nothing to allay public concerns over mass immigration. In an event that has attracted little mainstream media attention, no commentary has focused on the fact that the current Yellow Revolution protests have targeted mainland European nations, most of whom are ideologically and geostrategically opposed to the United Kingdom. It is Britain who will emerge the winner of any destabilization in the European Union.
IV. A Country Known To Meddle May Be At It Again
The United Kingdom is no stranger to interfering in the affairs of Western states, even if it means directly meddling in the political processes of their allies. In 2016, British intelligence and Commonwealth interests, angered by policy positions of now-President Donald Trump, engaged in a systematic attempt to undermine an American presidential campaign. A nation not afraid to jeopardize its “special relationship” with it’s closest ally would have no qualms doing the same to European neighbors with whom there are centuries of conflict, ill-will and hostile competition.
Europe may be “modern,” but below the gilded surface is a long history of internal conflict. If France is seeking to avoid greater chaos and instability, perhaps they would do well to look into the behavior of their neighbor.