Yellow Vests Act X: 84 000 Protesters in the Street, some Localised Clashes

General News
Demonstration of "yellow vests", January 19, 2019 in Paris

Act X Yellow Vests, this Saturday, was followed by about 84,000 protesters, according to the latest count. Apart from a few localised clashes, the mobilisation was calmer.

A record mobilization in Toulouse, calm in Paris, dotted with clashes in Bordeaux : thousands of “yellow vests” demonstrated Saturday for their tenth day of action , a few days after the launch by Emmanuel Macron of a “national debate “ supposed to channel two months of social anger.

In a final assessment, the Ministry of the Interior indicates to have identified 84,000 protesters in France , as last Saturday. This figure is contested every week by protesters and some have set up their own counting system called “yellow number”, the result much higher.

Record mobilisation in Toulouse

The mobilization was record in Toulouse, with 10,000 demonstrators according to the prefecture, far ahead of the capital (7000) and Bordeaux (4000), according to the authorities.

In Toulouse , the situation degenerated in the city centre, after more than two hours of demonstration in the calm.

There were clashes between protesters and police. The Capitol has been the victim of tags with anti-Macron slogans, black paint spray and banners deployed.

Calm in Paris, clashes in Bordeaux

While for the first time since the beginning of the social movement, the Paris demonstration took place without overflowing and with a pre-established route, clashes erupted in Bordeaux, between the cathedral and the town hall, at dusk. .

AFP journalists have seen very young men helmeted, masked, dressed in camouflage, using grinding machines and hammers to unearth and transport pavements, taking turns to bring them face to the police, who made use of tear gas and water cannons.

The gendarmerie deployed its wheeled armour and protesters began to disperse around 6.30pm.

A protester "yellow vest" offers strands of mimosa, Saturday, January 19, 2019 in Paris.
A protester “yellow vest” offers strands of mimosa, Saturday, January 19, 2019 in Paris. (© AFP / Zakaria ABDELKAFI)

Rumour denied in Rennes

A few brief skirmishes have enamelled generally good-natured events in Toulon, Nancy or Rennes .

In the Breton capital,  a false rumour circulating on social networks , indicating that a demonstrator would have died at the gathering of yellow vests, was formally denied by the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine with AFP.

In Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle), tensions have taken place between the police and protesters, as reported by a journalist on the spot.

In Paris, the police force for the first time of the day cannon water and tear gas around 4.30pm around the Invalides, starting point and arrival of the protesters after a loop to the square. Italy. The tension is quickly dropped.

The slogans “Macron resignation” or “Your highs and debates, we do not want, Macron clear” set the tone, displaying general skepticism vis-à-vis the great national debate launched this week by the head of state.

READ ALSO: IN IMAGES. Nearly 700 yellow vests in the streets of Dole (Jura)

“I just want more democracy”

Reluctant to the claim of the “yellow vests” which claim everywhere the establishment of a referendum of citizen initiative (RIC), the president defended during two trips in the region the big debate, articulated around four themes: power of purchasing, taxation, democracy and the environment.

“I just want more democracy,” “Macron, your account is good,” “RIC! Answered the signs in the streets.

Come from Nemours participate in the Parisian walk, Eric, electronics explained his commitment to AFP:

I am mobilized from the beginning because I can not bear to see the young people around me (…) who can not build their lives, even when they have a job and earn 1000 euros per month. The government must deal with this misery, instead of removing the ISF.

In the capital, as in Rennes, Montpellier, Angers, Nantes, Dijon or Tours, anger was still intact in the face of police violence, denounced its last days, social injustice or “deafness of the government”.

READ ALSO: Yellow Vests with cat and mouse in Lille and La Madeleine

France mutilated

“Stop the massacres” posted a sign in Dijon; “Castaner the butcher, France mutilated,” shouted the crowd in Toulouse, targeting the Minister of the Interior who defended on Friday the use by the police of the launcher of controversial defence bullets LBD.

“Let’s be responsible, do not pay the debt #Banque nationale” could we read on a sign in Lyon, “Bienvenue en lacrymocracy” in Tours. In Dijon, fifty “yellow vests” briefly entered the perimeter of the prison to demand the “release of their comrades” arrested in previous mobilisations.

Parade of "yellow vests" in Toulouse, January 19, 2019.
Parade of “yellow vests” in Toulouse, January 19, 2019. (© AFP / Pascal PAVANI)

Several thousand yellow vests and union activists took to the streets of Le Havre, Dieppe and Rouen on Saturday, January 19, 2019. The mobilisation was strong in Rouen, reports our editorial of 76 news .

Polemic around the defensive bullets launcher

This act 10 closes a week marked by a lively controversy over the use of the launcher of defense balls (LBD) by the police and the serious injuries suffered by many demonstrators.

Christophe Castaner, who again defended his use during law enforcement operations on Friday, also said he was “stunned” by the accusations of police violence, despite some videos showing the use of the LBD without immediate threat to the shooter. .

In the face of controversy, the Ain police carrying LBD were equipped with “pedestrian cameras” during the event in Bourg-en-Bresse, which gathered 300 people.

Forty arrests

A few dozen people were arrested in France. At 7 pm, 42 arrests had been held in Paris, according to the prefecture, resulting in 17 police custody. Very far from the hundreds of arrests of the demonstrations of December.

The executive had set up a device of comparable magnitude at the previous weekend, about 80,000 police and gendarmes in France, including 5,000 in Paris.

The mobilisation will continue on Sunday in several cities. Women “yellow vests” call for a demonstration in Paris, inspired by the peaceful event they had already organised on January 6th.

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