Between 1500 and 2000 yellow vests are on parade in Pontivy (Morbihan), this Saturday 16th February, since 2 pm, for their 6th regional meeting. Important security measures were taken in this city of Central Brittany, after the clashes found during the demonstration in Lorient, Saturday 9th February, which led to ten arrests and made a slight injury
After Lorient Saturday, February 9th, it’s Pontivy, this Saturday 16th February. Bastion historic mobilisation Yellow Jackets from mid-November 2018 , the City Centre of Brittany has taken important security measures to host the 6th regional event Yellow Jackets : no parking in the city centre, container garbage cans removed, sorting columns emptied, bus stopped and main public facilities closed.
Pontivy, dead city
Even the Merchants’ Union advises its members to close shop on the route of the event which leaves at 2 pm from the Palais des Congrès, takes the Rue Nationale before joining the monument to the dead, in a marked circuit that allows to avoid the carnival, installed place Aristide-Briand. The parade will be under surveillance, supervised by the mobile forces and the gendarmerie, who took position in the city this Saturday 16th February, in the morning. Access to Pontivy by the two-way twice was also cut in the morning.
The Yellow Vests themselves announce having planned their own security device, forty people. Everyone in Pontivy has in mind the scuffles during the demonstration in Lorient, Saturday, February 9, where among the 3,000 protesters, many came to battle. Review of this Saturday 9th February: ten arrests, six convictions for the hour and a slight injury.
“Avoid the official route”
In a statement, at the end of the week, the City of Pontivy called on the population “not to go to the city center of Pontivy and avoid approaching the official route”. The prefect has prohibited the sale, purchase or transport of “any flammable, explosive or chemical product”. The yellow vests, they called the demonstrators to disguise themselves “to make the event festive”.
2 pm Between 1,500 and 2,000 people are gathered in the city center of Pontivy. They are preparing to demonstrate in a city under surveillance, where the police have been deployed since the morning
In the parade, disguised people: an Asterix alongside a couple of irreducible Bretons or a prisoner duo in black and white striped pajamas, many flags of Brittany and a French flag float above the procession, framed by 72 people in white for rescuers and in orange for safety.
2:20 pm While the beginning of the procession follows the Rue Nationale, as planned, about 400 people at the end of the parade attempt to deviate from the circuit marked by the street Jouanno “to go to those of Lorient”. They are caught in extremis by security personnel and reoriented to the Rue Nationale.
2:45 pm “Macron resigns, Castaner in prison! “Chanted the protesters.
3pm. The police are posted in a deserted National Street, about twenty meters before the Place Aristide-Briand, to protect the funfair.
Passing through this busy downtown shopping street, the protesters are hugging the police force before committing to Friedland Street.
3:15 pm The procession came to a stop near the Pontivy War Memorial. Yellow vests carried a false coffin, where is written the word “democracy” in black letters.
They come to deposit this coffin at the foot of the monument.
3.50 pm. At the halfway mark, the protesters stop in front of the Pontivy public finance center. One of them, unrecognisable under his disguise, poses next to a coffin symbolising democracy. The atmosphere is good child. The demonstrators are accompanied by music. They hope to arrive in front of the gendarmerie in half an hour. Near the supermarket Intermarché, some booed the police.
Morgane, 30, and Nol, 43, met this Saturday, February 16, in Pontivy. They recognised themselves, in the crowd, in their outfit of convict (e): both perceive the disabled adult allowance (AAH). They chose this outfit “because we are prisoners of a calculation, a system, the state,” explains Nol who lives in his camper. “Teacher in high school, I suffered too much pressure and burned out”.
4pm. A small part of the protesters leave the official circuit of the demonstration at the street of Cairo, to engage in routes a priori not monitored by the gendarmes. They say they do not want to follow the imposed course “like sheep” . “There is no CRS on this path. We do not know where this road leads us but at least we do not follow the route imposed on us, “ explain the protesters.
The rescue teams in white also split to follow the two processions.
Place Aristide-Briand, these 150 or so demonstrators face the police who protect access. They are driven back to Cainin Street, not included in the marked circuit where the other part of the procession is still running.
4.30pm. First confrontation in the calm between a few hundred demonstrators and mobile gendarmes, on the bridge over the Blavet, near La Plaine, not far from the carnival where the police protect the access. First oral provocations of some protesters.
4.40pm. At the microphone, one of the organisers calls the protesters installed on the bridge, facing the police with shields and helmets, to join the official circuit. Most are running. There remains a small group of people sitting on the track facing the mobile police.
5pm. A moment of hesitation when the end of the event is officially announced. The bulk of the procession flies back to the castle, the starting point of the gathering, while small groups are formed in the city. At the height of the demonstration, they were 2,500 yellow vests in the streets of Pontivy.