Act 19 of the “Yellow Vests”: New Security Measures to Counter Violence and Degradations

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Police officers during a demonstration of "yellow vests" on Champs-Elysees in Paris on March 16, 2019.

Processions banned on the Champs-Elysees, Bordeaux, Nice or Toulouse, mobilised military: the government is testing new security measures against the “yellow vests”.

Processions prohibited on the Champs-Elysees and in several cities, support of the military Sentinel : the executive tests this Saturday, 23rd March, 2019 a new arsenal for security act 19 “yellow vests” , after the violence in Paris on the weekend. last end.

The scenes of looting and looting on the famous Parisian avenue have put pressure on the authorities who want to regain control by promising more “firmness”.

After ordering a purge at the head of the Paris Prefecture, held responsible for the “dysfunctions” of Act 18, the executive banned demonstrations in several emblematic places in Paris, Nice or Bordeaux and announced the reinforcement of military of the Sentinel Antiterrorist Force.

Since this surprise decision Wednesday, the authorities are trying to clear the controversy by hammering that these soldiers will have the sole mission to protect the official buildings and sensitive sites, to unload the police.

Calls to protest anyway

Faced with political outcry, the head of state has denounced since Brussels “a false debate” caused by “those who play to scare and frighten,” ensuring that the army is “in no way in charge the maintenance of order “.

The argument hardly convinced the “yellow vests”, mobilised for more than four months against the policy of the government.

“The war is declared,” proclaims a Facebook page that calls for the rally on the Champs-Elysees at 10am, for which more than 3,000 people say they are “interested” despite the prefectural ban.

The new Paris police chief Didier Lallement in Paris, March 21, 2019
The new Paris police chief Didier Lallement in Paris, March 21, 2019. (© POOL / AFP / Thibault Camus)

By decision of the new police chief Didier Lallement , no “yellow vest” is allowed to parade on the famous avenue, its surroundings and the Place de l’Etoile as well as in a perimeter including the Elysée Palace and the National Assembly.

About 15 other cities are also affected by similar bans.

The “yellow vests” will have no right of city on the Capitol Square in Toulouse and in downtown Bordeaux, regular theatres of violence since the beginning of the movement on November 17.

“We call for demonstrations and if we can go to the Capitol, we will go,” said Cédric Caubère, departmental secretary of the CGT, who gave up declaring a rally in the square.

The ultra-left in the provinces?

In Nice, where Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to meet Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, the ban on demonstrations, justified by “the manifest risk of disturbing public order”, extends over a large part of the Greater Nice area. the Promenade des Anglais.

“We wanted to demonstrate on the Prom ‘under the windows of the Chinese president. Now we want to demonstrate in the city and if it is not possible, we will have a concern (…) but there has never been any excesses in Nice, and there is no reason that it changes “, ensures the local “yellow vest” Stéphane Glaza.

If “gatherings are found” in these areas, there will be “interpellation and fine,” promised Secretary of State for the Interior Laurent Nuñez .

The contraventions incurred in the event of participation in a prohibited event were increased from 38 to 135 euros by decree Thursday.

An urgent appeal filed by the League of Human Rights against this text will be examined Wednesday at the Council of State.

"Yellow vests" brandish a French flag on which is written "freedom, equality, fraternity, my ass! While a flamble newsstand on the Champs-Elysées in Paris on March 16, 2019.
“Yellow vests” brandish a French flag on which is written “freedom, equality, fraternity, my ass! While a flamble newsstand on the Champs-Elysées in Paris on March 16, 2019. (© AFP / Archives / Zakaria ABDELKAFI)

Last Saturday, 32,000 “yellow vests”, including 10,000 in Paris, were identified by the authorities, a figure contested by the movement which claimed on its side 230 766 demonstrators.

In the capital, the only declared event must connect from 13h Denfert-Rochereau, south, Sacré-Coeur, north, according to the police prefecture.

Calls for regional rallies have also been launched, notably in Saint-Brieuc, Montpellier and La Rochelle where the police fear “actions of massive damage and physical attacks on the police”.

The ultra left, present in force in Paris last Saturday, “wants to mobilise but prioritising regional events,” confirms a police source.

Among the figures of the movement, Priscillia Ludosky and Maxime Nicolle must participate in a walk in the morning between Tourcoing and Lille , where a demonstration is scheduled in the afternoon.

Eric Drouet had announced the day after the act 18 that he would no longer participate in “declared demonstrations” and “marches”.

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