Yellow Vests: At Least 69,000 Demonstrators, Clashes in Paris and in the Provinces

General News
Demonstration of Yellow Vests in Paris on January 26, 2019.

69,000 protesters were counted this afternoon, including 4,000 in Paris, according to the Ministry of the Interior. One of the figures of the Yellow Vests was seriously injured in the eye.

Thousands of “yellow vests” were again demonstrating in Paris and in the provinces for their act 11, marked by a few incidents in Paris and Evreux , with a tenacity displayed facing an executive regaining popularity, ten days after the opening of the big national debate .

At 6pm, there were 69,000 to demonstrate in France, including 4,000 in Paris, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

Remaining visible and audible in the street to maintain the flame is the challenge of the “yellow vests”, while their ranks are won by new internal quarrels and the announcement of a list “Rally of initiative citizen” in the European elections of May, sows the division.

42 arrests in Paris

Sign of these dissensions, in Paris the demonstrators were dispersed in four distinct processions declared in prefecture.

The police had carried out 42 arrests in Paris, according to figures of the prefecture around 5pm.

The most impressive procession, initiated by one of the historical figures of the Eric Drouet movement, rocked the course of Vincennes behind two banners proclaiming “RIC Reform of the Constitution – Sixth Republic” and “The repression in motion”, accompanied by photographs of demonstrators seriously injured during previous mobilisations.

In this procession, the firm Occurrence counted 1,500 people for a media collective, including AFP , but its ranks have gradually grown to reach some 2000 demonstrators with very diverse profiles and in a good atmosphere.

“We must continue to put pressure by the street and the roundabouts, to get to accept our demands as the RIC (referendum citizen initiative, Ed),” insists Virginie, forty years mobilised in the “yellow vests” since act 1.

A figure of the movement wounded in the eye

Near Eric Drouet, Jerome Rodrigues was evacuated  around 4.30pm by the helpers, after being wounded in the eye  by the brilliance of a grenade of dispersement at Place de la Bastille. He himself filmed the scene (from the 11th minute) on Facebook .

The police chief of Paris has seized in the wake of the IGPN “to establish the circumstances in which the injury occurred,” tweeted the authorities.

“The RIC, it bristles me”

Friday evening, during a meeting of the great debate in the Yvelines, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe unambiguously dropped: “The RIC, it bristles me.”

Nearly a thousand “yellow vests” also down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees to scroll to the Place de la Bastille, including passing in front of the National Assembly.

Mathieu Styrna, a 36-year-old carpenter, came from Fourmies in the North (59):

“The big debate is mostly a big charade. It seems like there is a selection of people involved.”

For Gilbert Claro, 42, from Athis Mons (92), “there is a hard core that is ready to fight again” but the movement “is not intended to be political”.

Another march, at the call of the collective “Angry France” Priscillia Ludosky, part of the Ministry of Overseas, gathered a hundred people in front of the Paris headquarters of Facebook in the early afternoon.

Barricades burned in Paris during the demonstration of Yellow Vests on January 26, 2019.
Barricades burned in Paris during the demonstration of Yellow Vests on January 26, 2019. (© AFP / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT)

“Against Macron, everything is good”

Around 4pm, several thousand yellow vests grouping these processions were gathered Place de la Bastille, place of the end of the steps.

And as often at the end of the Paris demonstration every Saturday, incidents broke out between police and some protesters, with projectile throwing and barricade fire on one side, and the use of tear gas and water cannon, the other.

At the national level, a few incidents have been reported in Evreux . On the sidelines of a rally that gathered more than 800 people according to the prefecture, degradations were committed in front of the headquarters of the Bank of France and the premises of the municipal police, according to the authorities, who also deplored the fire of “two vehicles” near the town hall.

In Marseille, several thousand people gathered at 2 pm on the Old Port, including CGT militants hoping for a “convergence of all the vests,” yellow and red union. “Against Macron everything is good,” says Bernard Gargiolo, one of Marseille’s CGT leaders.

In Besançon, the hospitable movement of “White Coats” joined the procession of “yellow vests”.

Several prefectures refused to provide mobilization figures, according to AFP regional offices . At least a thousand people marched in Lyon in an electric atmosphere and cries of “Macron resignation”. They were about 600 in Grenoble and Saint-Etienne, a hundred in Montpellier.

READ ALSO:  Act XI Yellow Vests: a dozen wounded and 20 arrests in Seine-Maritime

In Strasbourg, 200 to 300 people gathered in front of the European Parliament to “dam Macron”, in the words of a protester, Valentin Wimmer. This retired mechanic from Molsheim (Bas-Rhin) regrets that “the movement is starting to crumble”.

The authorities had counted 84,000 protesters during the last two Saturdays, increasing after the Christmas break and the New Year but without regaining the level of mobilisation in early December.

After the controversy over the controversial use of the Defense Ball Pitcher (LBD), which has caused numerous injuries since November, the police must be equipped for the first time with pedestrian cameras.

In Paris, and in several cities in France, protesters are called to participate in a “yellow night”, a reference to “Nights standing” in 2016, in full mobilisation against the labour law.

In the wake of Act 11, the “red scarves” parade Sunday in Paris during a “republican march of freedoms” to hear “the silent majority” and defend “democracy and institutions.”

Demonstration of Yellow Vests in Paris on January 26, 2019.
Demonstration of Yellow Vests in Paris on January 26, 2019. (© AFP / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT)

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