Act 16 of the Yellow Vests took place in calm throughout France. Some clashes erupted in regions while the mobilisation is running out of steam.
The “yellow vests” marched Saturday in small numbers for their act 16 , peppered with a few clashes in the regions , meeting in the coming weeks to mark the end of the controversial national debate and the four months of this unprecedented social movement .
At 14:00, the Ministry of the Interior counted 5,600 demonstrators throughout France , including 1,320 in Paris. Last week at the same time, 11,600 people had been counted, including 4,000 in the capital. Official figures are regularly challenged by the “yellow vests”.
According to the police headquarters in Paris, 17 people were arrested late afternoon. The Paris parade of 12 km from the Arc de Triomphe, in which the figures Éric Drouet and Maxime Nicolle took part, proceeded without incident and the dispersion was in progress around 18:00. The procession was for the first time framed by “yellow vests” making security on a motorcycle.
We are less numerous than usual but we are there anyway and that’s the main thing, we will not give up because the situation is not going to improve, we’re sure,” said Murielle, a retired member of the Seine. et-Marne.
Many protesters interviewed by AFP said they put their hopes in the mobilisation of March 16th, presented by the historical figures of the movement as a key day.
“March 16th, Aquitaine invades Paris, ultimatum season 2,” and proclaimed a large banner hanging on a scaffolding in Bordeaux where 4000 “yellow vests” from police source, parade, some briefly invading the station.
This date coincides with the end of the great national debate launched January 15th by Emmanuel Macron who had estimated Friday that the movement was “no longer understandable by many citizens.” It also marks the four months of the sling.
The unprecedented national consultation of two months, to try to answer the anger by gathering the grievances of the French, aroused 10 000 meetings in France and more than a million contributions on the Internet.
“Their big debate is smoky facade,” said Marco, 27, protesters in Ales (Gard) where clashes erupted at the end of the event. Between 600 and 1500 people beat the pavement behind large banners proclaiming “Tomorrow belongs to us”, “Block the economy. Tired of surviving, we want to live “or” Social Justice “.
Meetings in the regions
Scuffles also took place in Nantes from the start of the event, as well as in Lille , where some Belgians joined a rally that the organizers wanted “international”, in Lyon or Toulouse .
In this southwestern town, one of the strongholds of the protest, Olivier Barba is determined to “maintain the pressure until the end of the great debate (…) for the government to do us the least possible harm” .
“The movement will not stop until the government sells. They do not leave us the choice, they do not listen to us, “says Karine, maternal assistant in the suburbs of Bordeaux.
There were about 450 in Bar-le-Duc, several hundred in Marseilles, and a thousand in Montpellier . More than 2,000 “yellow vests” also demonstrated in Lyon.
In Colmar , “yellow vests” donned a giant neon jacket on the replica of the Statue of Liberty.
Part of a headache against the rise in taxes and for more purchasing power, the slingshot has spread to heterogeneous claims.
On November 17th, there were 282,000 in the street for the act 1 of this movement born on social networks. On February 23rd, they were 46,600 including 5800 in Paris, according to the authorities.
A “yellow vest” complained in Paris for “obstructing the freedom to demonstrate” and “unlawful deprivation of liberty” after being taken into custody before the demonstration of 26th January.
Judicial information was also opened in Marseille after the death in hospital in December 2018 of an octogenarian, hit the night before at home by a tear gas grenade on the sidelines of demonstrations.