After Notre-Dame, The Yellow Vests Return to Paris for a New “Ultimatum”

General News
Yellow Vests return to Paris this Saturday

In spite of the fire of the cathedral which provoked a strong national turmoil, the yellow Vests will continue the mobilisation this Saturday. Trouble makers are expected in Paris.

The “Yellow Vests” are back Saturday in the streets of Paris and several cities for a new “ultimatum” launched Emmanuel Macron, after a week dominated by the fire at Notre Dame .

For their act 23, the protesters mainly met in the capital at the beginning of a week when the head of state will unveil Thursday its reforms from the great debate , whose announcement was deferred in reason of Notre-Dame.

Four parades are planned in Paris. Two were allowed, one of which must leave the basilica of Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) to join the campus of Jussieu (Ve). The other two, whose initial route provided for a departure from the area of ​​Bercy, in the east of the capital, to reach Les Halles or Place de l’Etoile, were banned.

Read also: Big debate: Emmanuel Macron will announce his measures Thursday, April 25

Trouble makers and Vandals expected in Paris, 60,000 police and gendarmes prepared

As in recent weeks, the authorities have also banned demonstrations emblematic places in several cities-the Champs-Elysees, the city center of Lyon or the Capitol Square in Toulouse – for fear of overflows that had enamelled the first ” ultimatum “on March 16th.

“The vandals have met again tomorrow, in some cities in France, Toulouse, Montpellier, Bordeaux and especially in Paris,” said Friday the Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner , indicating that more than 60,000 police and gendarmes would be mobilised throughout the country.

This “ultimatum 2” will be “a little less strong,” tempered a police officer. “We do not feel a bubbling like we felt on March 16th, especially on the side of the ultra left,” he adds, expecting them “to preserve their forces for May 1st”.

A protester in the middle of tear gas during a demonstration of Yellow Vests on April 13, 2019 in Toulouse.
A protester in the middle of tear gas during a demonstration of Yellow Vests on April 13, 2019 in Toulouse. (© AFP / Archives / Pascal PAVANI)

Read also: Toulouse. What you need to know about Act 23 Yellow Vests, Saturday

“Pure provocation”

Done again in Paris, the police prefect banned Saturday any gathering near the Notre-Dame Cathedral where some “yellow vests” wanted to converge.

This would be “pure provocation”, Didier Lallement decided. “It is not reasonable to pass protests of 5,000 to 10,000 people in the vicinity of Notre Dame,” said the prefect, referring to the thousands of tourists or simple onlookers who continue to flock every day to collect in front of the building.

The extent of the participation will be carefully scrutinised after a week in which the fire of the cathedral has relegated to the background the mobilisation of “yellow vests”, which claim for five months more purchasing power and more direct democracy.

On Facebook, some “yellow vests” say hope to be able to reconcile the respect of “national emotion” aroused by Notre Dame with the denunciation of the policy of the Head of State , which they demand the resignation to Saturdays.

Other “yellow vests” like Jérôme Rodrigues preferred to bounce back on the controversy born after the decision of the biggest French fortunes to give hundreds of millions of euros to help the reconstruction of Notre-Dame.

“The yellow vests thank the generous billionaires donors to save Our Lady and offer them to do the same thing with the Miserables,” he wrote on Facebook, calling to mobilise for act 23.

Last Saturday, demonstrations of “yellow vests” had gathered 31,000 people, including 5000 in Paris, according to official figures regularly contested by the protesters.

The Paris police chief Didier Lallement speaks at a press conference on April 16, 2019.
The Paris police chief Didier Lallement speaks at a press conference on April 16, 2019. (© POOL / AFP / Archives / LUDOVIC MARIN)

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