Act VIII Yellow Vests: In Rouen, the Movement is Reviving, Violence is Taking Hold

Local News
More Yellow Vests protesters in Rouen this weekend

Many clashes have marked the demonstration of Yellow Vests, Saturday 5th January, 2018 in Rouen (Seine-Maritime). The mobilisation was greater than that of December 29th.

A huge fire arises from the Place du Vieux-Marché , emblematic place of Rouen (Seine-Maritime) . The scene is impressive and takes place around 2:45 pm under the eyes of traders, residents and tourists incredulous. Some take pictures. Many yellow vests also immortalise the scene with their smartphone. Firefighters intervene a few minutes later to extinguish the fire of garbage and construction furniture, one of the 16 they will have to master during a new afternoon of chaos in Rouen.

The calm … To begin

Yet the gathering begins in peace. Around 10 o’clock, protesters meet at Place du Boulingrin and go back to the Hôtel de Ville where a lot of yellow vests await. First observation: Act VIII mobilizes more people than a week earlier. Between 1,700 and 4,000 people according to sources (prefecture and spokesperson of the Yellow Vests) are present in Rouen Saturday, January 5, 2019. Among them: Vests yellow Le Havre , Eure ( Evreux, Gaillon, Bernay, Verneuil in particular) of Paris region, Pas-de-Calais made the trip to the Rouen capital.

The morning unfolds without any particular incident. The yellow vests wander in a deserted city center, turn a little in circles. The route is decided to debottled, without any real guiding idea, since there are no leaders. “Macron, we come to get you at your house” fuse regularly. At the head of the procession, the tone towards the police is immediately vindictive, even hateful. Many want to fight fast. Yellow vests ask them not to break anything. The precarious calm will not last.

The yellow vests in Rouen is not weakening
The movement is not weakening as evidenced by this photo taken in Rouen (Seine-Maritime), Saturday, January 6, 2019. (© RT / 76actu)

First charge of the police

The situation begins to tighten shortly after 12 pm, a first fire is lit street Jean-Lecanuet, the first charge of the police intervenes in the square Verdrel Street Jeanne d’Arc. It follows the first teargas grenades fired. The procession splits into several groups.

Clashes erupt on Rue de la Republique. Shortly after, the protesters gathered at the Place de l’Hotel de Ville were again scattered with tear gas bombs. Many yellow vests scream their hatred of the police. The spirits are really warming up. A man came to protest with his three children invective a resident who complains of these new excesses. On the sidelines of the event, a BFM team is violently attacked.

Yellow vests pushed back to the Place des Emmurés

Face-to-face meetings between protesters and law enforcement agencies are increasing. Each time, the scenario is repeated: protesters erect barricades of fortune, ignite them to bring the police. They throw projectiles at them. The police and gendarmes responded by sending tear gas and charging to make the protesters flee.

The yellow vests are finally pushed left bank, district Saint-Sever, towards the place of Emmured. New lights are on. The police forces this time make use of their flash-ball. Last clashes erupt at dusk right bank, Jeanne-d’Arc streets and Republic.

A difficult way out of the crisis

At the end of the day, the prefect of Seine-Maritime Fabienne Buccio will estimate 400 the number of elements “particularly hostile” to police and gendarmes. The majority of yellow vests are non-violent and demonstrate to make the “voice of the forgotten” heard.

Nevertheless, there is an acceptance of violence as a means of expression. This is all the more legitimized as Yellow Vests consider themselves victims of police repression. How far can this chain of violence go? The mistrust of the Yellow Vests towards the State and their representatives is growing larger and turns into real rejection. Which makes a possible way out of crisis very complicated to find.

In the Normandy capital, the material damage is important. The metropolis had already lodged a complaint following the degradations committed on December 29, 2018. In all likelihood, it should make a new deposit in the coming days. It is also a new black Saturday for the Rouen trade.

Rouen is again bruised by this new day of mobilisation. Four people were injured during this act VIII. Nineteen inquiries took place. At 11am, Sunday 6th January, 9 people were still in custody.

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