‘Yellow Vest’ Act 22 Reaches 30,000 People Despite Repression

| Resist!

Above Photo: Yellow vests protesters attend a demonstration at La Defense financial district in Paris, France, April 6, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

The number of protesters increased in spite of the Anti-riots law and its threats.

Police Saturday arrested at least 50 people as the Yellow Vests were performing their 22 consecutive weekend protest against France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

Summoned through social networks, almost 6,000 people gathered in the city of Toulouse, where 23 people were arrested when marches were trying to depart from the Allee Jean Jaures avenue and its nearby side streets to downtown areas in which demonstrations had been banned.

In Paris, Yellow Vest demonstrations were also confronted by the police, which arrested 27 people, according to data available at the end of the afternoon. The Minister of Interior Christophe Castaner acknowledged that, in comparison to last weeks demonstrations, the number of citizens protesting increased and reached 31,000.

This week Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presented some results of the “consultations” that the government made with the population to detect their main demands.​​​​​​​

However, given that the Macron administration has not been able to find real solutions to the citizen’s requests, it is expected that the Yellow vest will come out once again next Saturday, April 17.

In the context of the ongoing political and economic crisis, President Macron published the “Anti-Riots law” (Loi Anti-Casseurs) on March 11. According to this norm, anyone can be imprisoned for one year and receive a fine of 15,000 Euros if he or she is at, or nearby, an event that may disturb public order. ​​​​​​​It also authorizes the police to check any suitcase or vehicle.

The Constitutional Council, nevertheless, refused to validate the article 3 of the Anti-Casseurs law, which grants power to administrative authorities to arrest any person who presents a “threat of special gravity for public order”.

The Yellow Vest movement began in November 2018 as a way of rejecting increases in fuel taxes and the neoliberal austerity measures proposed by Macron. Subsequently, the citizen mobilization demanded additional measures to increase the French people’s purchasing power.

  • Bella_Fantasia

    At least the French are pushing back on the neo-liberal agenda that only benefits the wealthiest. They have a rich tradition of protest, and they have been persistent. Besides, France in the not too recent past, was definitely more socially oriented. The social programs that French citizens appreciate will not be that easily undone. Unfortunately, Macron is a Rothschild banker, after all, and he is taking on the American method of criminalizing protesters.

    On the other hand, Americans seem comatose, if not that, overly tolerant to the abuses from the elites. If they’re not staring into their phones, they’re consuming something or other to ease the pain. We’ve been abused in so many ways, and individuals suffer silently thinking their problems are the result of a personal failure. Or else they’re blaming the ‘other’. In fact, this social climate of non-cooperation and oppositional narratives has been a work in progress for four decades.

    We really need to observe and emulate the Yellow Vest movement in France for inspiration. It’s always sad to see protesters get injured and arrested, but the American Frederick Douglass has told us that power concedes nothing without a demand.

  • Jon

    Yes to increased mobilization, but your critique does not acknowledge the Occupy movement nor the massive and historic Standing Rock mobilization when you say “On the other hand, Americans seem comatose, if not that, overly tolerant to the abuses from the elites.”

  • Bella_Fantasia

    Sorry, Jon. My perspective of late has been skewed. It’s a swamp out here. Both Occupy and Standing Rock had my support as best I could accomplish from a remote outpost. They were brutally crushed. They were only a small segment of the overall population, unfortunately. Still, there is piece of my heart at Standing Rock.

    It would be good to see Occupy emerge again, with a more focused strategy. The criticism of Occupy was that they made no demand, which perhaps seemed obtuse to ordinary onlookers. To occupy Wall Street seemed pointed to me, because Wall Street tentacles extend to all places.

  • Jon

    Fair enough, Bella. I think people all over feel swamped. The oppression is multi-sided and one hardly knows where to focus. But the dialectic is at work and the internal contradictions eventually (in the not distant future) are becoming sharper and we all feel something has to give, like the pressure of an earthquake building, or a volcano. As with those involved with Yellow Vests, we need to connect with certain elements of the far right who also feel this. i had a splendid response when I reached out cordially to Libertarians here to see where we could agree, and we readily found 10 points of unity.

  • kevinzeese

    Popular Resistance came out of Occupy. We were Occupy organizers and when the encampments ended we talked to a lot of occuiers and other activists and people thought a movement news and acton site would be needed to keep building the movement.

    In fact, the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice as well as peace is much bigger now than it was during occupy. And, the issues we are urging have higher levels of popularity.

    The movement is growing and the 2020s will be a decade of major positive change, if we do our jobs and keep building the movement. I recommend our School on Transformational Change — 8 one hour classes, see http://www.PopularResistance.org/school/

  • dan

    Maybe we need something like Battle Of Seattle again. So often here though seems we can’t sustain a movement for long. We’ve had an anti-war movement too; though under Obama seemed to mostly go underground for a while. More recently, there has been Occupy, Standing Rock, and Black Lives Matter; all three were brutally pursued/fought….there are parts of Me Too Movement that are Leftist but some of it is actually conservative if you think of true People Liberation and Sexual Liberation. Yellow Vests could happen here too perhaps….also, teachers’ strikes and prisoners’ strikes make me hopeful about unions coming back

  • Bella_Fantasia

    While the far right terrifies me, it is important to go outside our comfort zones and attempt to communicate with all sorts of people. Usually it helps to learn how and why others think and act as they do. Generally, a point of agreement can be found. Bravo to you for finding ten points of unity!