After the arrest of Eric Drouet, the Facebook group “La France en colère” broadcast Thursday an open letter to Emmanuel Macron which will be read Saturday during the demonstrations.
The media and controversial “yellow vest” Eric Drouet denounced a “political” arrest, leaving a police custody that provoked indignation , two days before an eighth Saturday of demonstrations in France.
Arrested Wednesday evening near the Champs-Elysees for “organisation of a demonstration without prior statement,” he says he just had to meet other “yellow vests” for a “rendez-vous at the restaurant.”
“We try to put responsibilities on our back, while there is not at all,” said Thursday the driver of the Seine-et-Marne, 33 years.
He was summoned to the criminal court on February 15 for Wednesday and December 22, which had already earned him custody, where he will be tried for “organizing an event without prior notice”.
He will also be tried on 5 June for “carrying a prohibited weapon” during the demonstration on 22 December.
“An operation that is not legal”
The custody of three other people arrested with him Wednesday night was lifted Thursday morning, according to a source familiar with the matter.
“Eric Drouet is free today, in a purely and basely political operation, which is not legal,” commented his lawyer, Kheops Lara. In Lille, about fifty people had gathered to claim his “release”.
His arrest provoked the indignation of politicians from the far right to the far left through the center.
Find a “respectable personality”
Mobilization has decreased significantly in recent weeks , but new calls to demonstrate Saturday on “the symbolic places” in Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Besancon, Clermont-Ferrand or Nice, have been launched in recent days on social networks.
In the capital, the “yellow vests” are invited to gather at Place de l’Hotel de Ville at 2 pm, before walking to the National Assembly.
The group of “yellow vests” called “Angry France”, which refuses to participate in the great national debate announced by Emmanuel Macron, asked Thursday to the president, in an open letter, the appointment of a “respectable personality” for ” start the discussions (…) around the resumption of sovereignty of the people “.
“Drouet was arrested for nothing,” AFP Fabrice, a 46-year-old “yellow vest” official from Lyon, told AFP. “We do not loose anything, the” yellow vests “are still there.
“We went back after the wishes of Macron, who for us were a declaration of war. He thinks he’s a handful, but he does not see that he’s talking to the people.”
The movement remains popular in opinion
After announcing December 10 social measures and a national debate, Emmanuel Macron adopted an offensive tone during his wishes, calling for “unity restored” and saying that “the republican order will be assured without complacency” face to violence.
A majority of French (55%, +1) wants the movement of “yellow vests” to continue and improving purchasing power is now the top expectation for 2019, according to a survey Odoxa Dentsu consulting published Thursday.
45% of the 1004 respondents wanted the movement to stop, one point less than in a survey conducted in early December.