Yellow Vests: A Few Thousand Protesters in the Streets, Clashes in Some Cities

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Yellow vests: a few thousand protesters in the streets, clashes in some cities

Yellow vests were back in the streets of several cities in France this Saturday. Clashes erupted in places. We take stock.

For their “return”, a few thousand “yellow vests” gathered in several major cities, such as Montpellier, where clashes quickly broke out and a municipal police car was burned.

A thick smoke, unbreathable, quickly invaded a shopping street in Montpellier, where a police car, without occupants, was burned, said an AFP journalist. Several storefronts have also been vandalized, including that of the insurer MMA.

According to the prefecture of Hérault, it is the demonstrators who opened the door of the police vehicle and threw a molotov cocktail.

Three arrests

The procession of 1500 (according to the prefecture) to 3000 protesters (according to the organizers) was struggling to gather in the middle of the afternoon, while sporadic incidents broke out throughout the city centre, where tourists and Montpellierans remained trapped by tear gas and clashes. “I do not see anything anymore! »,« I can not breathe anymore! Exclaimed the passers-by.

The prefecture reported three arrests for “throwing projectiles, incendiary devices and possession of knives”.

Many demonstrators present at the beginning of the rally, like Odile, a young caregiver, who was enthusiastic: “It’s the return of the yellow vests! Responded to a “national” call to demonstrate in Montpellier, a city in which there has been strong mobilization since the beginning of the movement.

Demonstrator in favor of the "RIC" (citizens' initiative referendum), September 7, 2019 in Montpellier, Herault.
Demonstrator in favor of the “RIC” (citizens’ initiative referendum), September 7, 2019 in Montpellier, Herault. (© AFP / Pascal GUYOT)

Gatherings in Rouen, Toulouse, Lille …

In Rouen too, where any gathering was banned in the city centre, clashes erupted during the demonstration of “yellow vests”, supported by the CGT of Seine-Maritime, leading to two arrests, we learned from of the prefecture.

In Toulouse , the procession of several hundred “yellow vests”, according to an AFP journalist, was much more important than the last Saturdays, reflecting according to many demonstrators a “resumption” of mobilization.

“It is normal that there is more people, it is a resumption of the movement that has never been dead,” assured Francis, a retired 66-year-old Toulouse. “And it’ll be worse and worse! He predicts. On one of the doors of the Town Hall, a man stuck a cardboard on which was read:

It will take the time that it will take but we will not let go.

In Lille , some 650 protesters according to a police source, 1500 according to representatives of “yellow vests”, parade them in a good-natured atmosphere, behind a banner announcing the “social return” and the “convergence of struggles” vests “yellow” , “Red”, “pink” and “green”.

“We are all together, we want the government to change policy clearly and (…) a radical change can only happen through the resignation of the government and the establishment of a political alternative,” said AFP Alexander Chantry, figure of “yellow vests” Lille.

In Strasbourg , about 350 “yellow vests” according to the prefecture had been demonstrating since mid-day in the city center.

In Paris , the epicenter of the first demonstrations of “yellow vests”, only a few dozen demonstrators have tried to gather on the Champs-Elysees, which are banned from demonstrations. Police forces deployed in the neighborhood have verbalized 55 people, including Eric Drouet, one of the initiators of the movement.

Another small procession formed at the beginning of the afternoon, around the Invalides and the prefecture announced to proceed to arrests without specifying the number in the immediate future.

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