Yellow Vests: Tensions in Rennes and Clermont-Ferrand During Act 15

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Chaffoured between "yellow vests" and police on 23 February 2019 in Paris.

The Yellow Vests once again on the streets for their act 15, hoping to stem the decline of their mobilisation for a month, with rallies in Paris and throughout France

“We are not tired”: Yellow Vests , whose mobilization has been down for a month, reinvested the street Saturday, February 23 for their “act 15”, with demonstrations under the sun in the big cities.

According to the figures of the Ministry of the Interior, 11 6000 demonstrators had been counted at 14h on the whole territory , against 10 200 at the same time last week. In Paris, they were also a little more numerous: 4,000, against 3,000 a week earlier.

In Paris, parades were generally held in peace. “To all those who think that the mobilization is running out of steam I say ‘look, open your eyes’, told AFP Céline, a 46 year old from Toulouse. It is an immense anger and there is no turning back possible. If we go home, we die, France dies. “

“I am here to denounce the hypocrisy of ‘greenwashing’ , the corruption of the government sold to industrial lobbies, while we make efforts by investing in organic,” says Mathilde Destenapes, 27, organic farmer in the Landes. She took advantage of her time at the Salon de l’agriculture to join the event.

The "Yellow Vests" parade on the Champs-Elysées in Paris for Act 15 on February 23, 2019.
The “Yellow Vests” parade on the Champs-Elysées in Paris for Act 15 on February 23, 2019. (© AFP / Zakaria ABDELKAFI)

Video: Yellow Vests in Paris for a 15th mobilisation Saturday

One of the figures of the movement, Eric Drouet , seen in the Paris procession, had visited earlier in the morning at the Salon inaugurated by Emmanuel Macron . “The dialogue was broken some time ago” and “we wanted to see if we could approach the president,” he told AFP. The head of state remains the prime target of protesters’ slogans and songs.

A yellow Vest questioned by the gendarmes in Paris on February 23, 2019.
A yellow Vest questioned by the gendarmes in Paris on February 23, 2019. (© AFP / Zakaria ABDELKAFI)

Picnic in Chambord

Elsewhere, other figures of the movement have announced their presence in different gathering places.

On Facebook, Maxime Nicolle said he would participate in the rally in Rennes while Priscillia Ludosky joined the giant picnic organized under a spring sun in front of the Château de Chambord, a snub to Emmanuel Macron who had celebrated 40 years old at the end of December 2017.

“The non-organisation of the movement is its strength and weakness. We must all agree, with a stricter organisation, we would have been faster “,

In a good-natured atmosphere, demonstrators lent themselves to playing photos and selfies in front of François I’s castle.

Yellow Vests: Tensions in Rennes and Clermont-Ferrand During Act 15 1
Picnic at Chambord by the yellow vests on February 23, 2019. (© AFP / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER)

Tensions in Rennes and Clermont-Ferrand

The situation was much less calm in  Clermont-Ferrand , barricaded for the occasion in the fear of the presence of breakers.

Clashes took place in a shopping street in the city between thirty yellow vests and law enforcement officers who fired at the LBD, AFP journalists said. One person was injured on foot, according to the prefecture. Several incidents also occurred around the courthouse, according to the same source.

Same scenario in Rennes , where was held the interregional meeting of Brittany. The prefecture had however banned the demonstrations.

The situation was very tense in the Breton capital in the middle of the afternoon. Protesters threw balls of petanque on the police who responded with tear gas and grenades deencclement.

According to a police source, 13 people were arrested, including five placed in custody in Clermont-Ferrand, including possession of petanque balls. In Paris, 14 people were arrested according to the prefecture of police, 15 in Rennes, 12 placed in custody in Lyon, according to the prefecture.

Gatherings in Bordeaux, Toulouse, Rouen …

In Toulouse, one of the strongholds of the mobilisation, where from 7:30, protesters carried out a fist operation by blocking the deposit of Amazon .

Scenes of clashes erupted in the late afternoon in the Rose City. 

Gathering of "yellow vests", February 23, 2019 in Toulouse.
Gathering of “yellow vests”, February 23, 2019 in Toulouse. (© AFP / Pascal GUYOT)

In Bordeaux, regular theatre of violent clashes with the police, the Bordeaux police unions Friday alerted their national hierarchy on the “critical” situation and the “moral and physical lassitude” of the police, demanding more ways to fight. effective against the “urban guerrilla”.

“If some think that the police will be exhausted and they will be worn, they are wrong,” however assured the Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner, during a trip to Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis ). “The police will be there and do their job,” he added.

In Rouen, about 600 protesters gathered in the morning according to our colleagues on site 76actu. They were more numerous at the beginning of the afternoon.

Yellow vests were also mobilised for Act 15 in Caen or Lille.

Since four consecutive weekends, the affluence decreases according to the Ministry of the Interior, whose figures are regularly disputed by the demonstrators.

The last Saturday had mobilised 41,000 people in France, against 282,000 during the first day of action on November 17th, the launch date of this unprecedented social protest movement.

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