As mass French protests across the country continue, the strain on essential supply lines is becoming apparent.
The country’s oil industry association UFIP said that if strikes continued at all 12 of France’s refineries then there would be national shortages.
Total, the French oil giant, said 350 to 400 petrol stations were experiencing supply disruptions out of a total of 13,000.
Shortages looked likely to further worsen as truckers pledged to halt road transport of fuel to filling stations from last night (Sun).
“We have found the means to cope with the worst moments of the crisis (so far) but we cannot hold out forever,” warned Jean-Louis Schilansky, UFIP’s president.
Striking workers continued to block the Fos-Lavera fuel terminal near Marseilles yesterday, where 61 ships and 47 petrol tankers are unable to offload.
Other reports suggest that upwards of 1000 gas stations are now out of gas, with many more slated to run out in the coming days.
The French are protesting austerity measures, like the raising of the retirement age for French citizens. The likely outcome over coming weeks will be a more or less peaceful resolution to the problems in one way or another, probably with French protesters just giving up due to the fact that the government will not reinstate the old retirement age of 60.
But this highlights the potential danger of mass protests, riots and strikes.
Trend forecaster Gerald Celente recently forecast that similar events will occur in the United States in 2011 and 2012 as struggling Americans will take to the streets after having lost jobs, homes, dignity and the ability to feed their families.
No one can predict how bad a situation might come of large-scale gatherings of protesters throughout American cities, but as Celente likes to say, “When people lose everything, and they have nothing left to lose, they lose it.”
Our just-in-time transportation infrastructure for essential items like food and gas could be hampered for days, perhaps weeks if people begin losing it and engaging in violent protests.
If such events were to occur on U.S. soil, we foresee violence first, and then a rapid deployment of U.S. military personnel to quell the disturbances.
Whatever the case, if such supply cuts were to ever occur, having at least a 30 day reserve of food, water, and even one to two tanks of gas may be of significant benefit.
The last thing you want to do, especially if you have a family depending on you, is to have to leave your home to go scavenging for food or gas in the middle of a post-Rodney King L.A. style riot or martial law.