Mobilisation of Yellow Vests: Relative Calm in Paris, Tensions in Nice

General News
Demonstration of "yellow vests" Denfert Rochereau place in Paris, March 23, 2019

Except in Nice, Act 19 of the “yellow vests” takes place Saturday in a relative calm, especially in Paris on the Champs-Elysees crisscrossed by an imposing police presence.

Except in Nice , Act 19 of the ” yellow vests ” takes place this Saturday 23rd March, 2019 in relative calm, especially in Paris on the Champs-Elysees crisscrossed by an imposing police presence and banned from the event after the rampage and violence of the previous week.

Many vans, tanks and water cannons of the police had taken place early in the morning in the middle of the artery, discouraging the “yellow vests” which were entrenched on the forecourt of Trocadero and Denfert-Rochereau, starting point of an event.

On the decision of the new police chief Didier Lallement , no “yellow vest” was allowed to parade on and around the famous avenue, nor on the Place de l’Etoile, nor on a perimeter including the Elysee Palace and The national assembly.

Supported by the use of drones and a new anti – thief unit , the new security device must allow, according to him, to “put an immediate end to the violence or even destruction”.

At noon, 31 people were arrested in the capital , 15 others were reported for marching in a forbidden perimeter and more than 2,300 preventive checks were carried out, it was learned from the police headquarters.

Last Saturday, scenes of ransacking and looting on the Champs-Elysees had put pressure on the authorities who wanted to regain their hands by promising more “firmness” and conducting a purge at the head of the police headquarters, held for responsible for the “malfunctions” of the act 18.

“No mercy with the thugs”

The custody of the seals Nicole Belloubet broke the nail on Saturday: “We will be without mercy for the breakers (….) What these people want, it is not the dialogue, their only demand, it is the violence”, has she asserted in the Aude.

Beyond Paris, the authorities have also banned demonstrations in emblematic places in several major French cities, including Nice.

Police evacuate protesters during a day of mobilization of "yellow vests" near the Place Garibaldi in Nice, March 23, 2019.
Police evacuate protesters during a day of mobilization of “yellow vests” near the Place Garibaldi in Nice, March 23, 2019. (© AFP / Valery HACHE)

In the Mediterranean city, some dozens of people, some of whom donned a yellow vest, however, braved this prohibition by demonstrating in Piazza Garibaldi but were quickly surrounded by the police.

Six people were arrested in the city where Chinese and French presidents are expected Sunday and Monday, according to the prefecture.

For this act 19, the authorities had also innovated by announcing the controversial “reinforcement” of military members of the Sentinel anti-terrorist force.

After the outcry provoked by this decision, the authorities tried to clear the controversy, Emmanuel Macron denouncing on Friday “a false debate” caused by “those who play to scare and frighten” and ensuring that the army would not be ” in no case in charge of the maintenance of order.

The ultragauche in the province?

After four months of mobilisation, fifteen other cities were affected by bans to demonstrate.

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

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.

Meetings are also expected in regions, including Saint-Brieuc, Montpellier and La Rochelle where the police fear “actions of massive damage and physical attacks on the police.”

The ultragauche, 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 took part in a march that gathered in mid-morning 200 people between Tourcoing and Lille . Another figure of “yellow vests”, Maxime Nicolle was also expected.

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