Yellow Vests: Many Rallies and Blockages but Mobilisation Down

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"Yellow vests" parade through the streets of Paris, December 22, 2018

23800 demonstrators took part in Act IV of the Yellow Vests movement, this Saturday, December 22, 2018. Some excesses were observed in the regions, in Bordeaux in particular.

With three days to go before Christmas, “Act VI” of the ” yellow vests ” gathered Saturday tens of thousands of demonstrators across the country, down from the previous Saturday, with parades scattered, the continuation of roadblocks and some blockages at the borders.

23,800 protesters this Saturday

In the early afternoon, the Ministry of the Interior counted 23,800 demonstrators across the country, against 33,500 last Saturday at the same time.

On the night of Friday to Saturday, a tenth person died on the sidelines of the movement: a motorist who crashed into a blocked truck at a dam filtering “yellow vests”, at the highway entrance of Perpignan-sud.

In Paris, for this sixth consecutive Saturday of mobilisation, the prefecture counted 2000 protesters shortly before 4pm, against nearly 4000 at its maximum last Saturday according to a police source.

109 people arrested in Paris

Around 4:30 pm in the capital, 109 people were arrested and seven were held in police custody on the margins of demonstrations, most of them for “mobbing with a view to committing violence”.

Among the detainees is one of the spokesmen of the “yellow vests”, Eric Drouet , 33 years old, a road driver from Melun (Seine-et-Marne) who helped launch the mobilisation against the rise in fuels in November. It was also he who called this morning on Facebook to gather in Montmartre.

The protesters, flanked by police, then left the XVII th arrondissement to scroll in the center of the capital, separating into scattered groups of dozens of people strolling without route, sometimes blocked by security forces or repelled with tear gas.

“Yellow vests” were still showing on the Champs-Elysees, but far from the images of avenue under siege from a few weeks ago. The traffic was relatively normal. Cafes, restaurants and shops were open, except for some luxury shops.

“Two days before Christmas, I think it’s not bad” as mobilisation, told AFP on the Champs-Elysees Frederick, 46, came from Picardy demonstrate for the 3rd time in Paris.

“We do with our means, it’s hard to make the movement last because it’s financially profitable.”

The situation contrasts with that of last week, when some 69,000 members of the police force were deployed in France, including 8,000 in Paris.

READ ALSO:  Yellow vests: a puppet with the effigy of Emmanuel Macron decapitated, an open investigation



“Crumbs to the beggars”

Several blockades on the borders with Spain, Italy or Germany have been observed, after a call to this effect of certain figures of the movement. Demonstrations of “yellow vests” also disrupt road traffic.

Hundreds of “yellow vests” are collected at the toll Boulou near the Spanish border, found AFP. “King Macron gives crumbs to the beggars”, could be read on banners of protesters.

According to Vinci, some entrances, exits and toll gates are still closed on the network, especially on the A7 motorway. Demonstrations are still going on about twenty points. In the south-east, 200 protesters blocked traffic on the motorway at the Ventimiglia border crossing (Alpes-Maritimes).

The “yellow vests” have also demonstrated in several cities in France and around, have found journalists from AFP .

Excesses in Bordeaux

In Bordeaux, the mobilization gathered 2,600 people, according to the prefecture, against 4500 last Saturday. The police used water cannons and tear gas while protesters fired projectiles, firecrackers and fireworks.

A puppet with the effigy of President Emmanuel Macron was beheaded Friday night during a demonstration of “yellow vests” in Angoulême, according to the prefecture of Charente.

Some 80 “yellow vests” gathered Saturday noon in front of the house of Brigitte and Emmanuel Macron in Le Touquet, according to the prefecture of Pas-de-Calais. The police used tear gas against demonstrators trying to force the police.

About a thousand “yellow vests” demonstrated in Lille Saturday afternoon, singing the Marseillaise and chanting “Macron resignation! “.

They were 500 in Nantes according to the prefecture, in a relative calm. In Rennes, an important snail operation was in progress.

In Brussels, a hundred “yellow vests” demonstrated.

Gathering of "yellow vests" on the A9 at Boulou, December 22, 2018.
Gathering of “yellow vests” on the A9 at Boulou, December 22, 2018. (© AFP / RAYMOND ROIG)

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