The yellow vests had planned to resume the path of protests this Saturday 16th May 2020, in Toulouse. The prefect has just banned any demonstration that day.
“The demonstration of yellow vests on Saturday 16th May 2020 are prohibited in Toulouse”. In a statement published in the middle of the day Thursday 14th May 2020, Etienne Guyot, prefect of Haute-Garonne announced the ban on all demonstrations in Toulouse, for the coming Saturday, the first since the deconfinement.
“Given the state of health emergency in force; the prohibition of any gathering on the public highway of more than 10 people; the fact that Haute-Garonne constitutes an active circulation zone for the virus; but also that from November 17th, 2018 to March 14th, 2020, undeclared demonstrations of the “Yellow Vests” movement in downtown Toulouse gave rise to serious events, Étienne Guyot, prefect of the Occitanie region, prefect of the Haute-Garonne, has decided to ban all demonstrations on Saturday 16th May 2020 in Toulouse.”
Immediate dispersal and fine of 135 euros
Violators are liable to a fine of 135 euros . The prefecture services specify: “Any demonstration or rally causing disturbance to public order will result in immediate dispersal by the police and the arrest of possible perpetrators of acts of violence.”
— Préfet de région Occitanie et de Haute-Garonne (@PrefetOccitanie) May 14, 2020
Toulouse economic players stand up against the demonstration
The announcement of the resumption of the yellow vests movement in the Pink City had been greeted with amazement and concern by Toulouse economic players. The CCI, the Chamber of Trades and Crafts of Haute-Garonne, the Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises of Haute-Garonne (CPME 31) and Medef 31 had written a joint letter addressed to the prefect to alert him to the consequences the dramatic economic consequences of holding a new demonstration in the city centre, and demanding that it be banned.
Samuel Cette, president of CPME 31 explains:
“Toulouse merchants experienced a year and a half of strong mobilization, impacting their activity enormously, before receiving the coup de grace with the three months of financial difficulties they encountered, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Already, I think that a legion of honor is essential for all the traders who will manage to get out of all this, and now they see the third razor blade coming, the one that is touted on television. , and who will come to finish them off. This is unacceptable.”
What will be the impact of this ban on protesters?
The cry of the heart of the pink city’s economic players has been heard, and the ban on the demonstration has been declared. It now remains to know the impact that this prefectural ban will have on the demonstrators.
Remember that since the start of the movement in 2018, the yellow vests have almost never declared their demonstration in the prefecture, as required by law.
Be that as it may, the prefecture has already planned a reinforced police system if the demonstration were to be held “in order to ensure the safety of people and property”.
The merchant alert, which allows merchants to be informed of the procession’s progress so that they can make their arrangements, will also be activated. “It is also recommended to take all the necessary precautions, in particular, to remove any object likely to be misused (flower pots, decorative objects …)”
“We fear epidermal reactions”
Samuel Cette, for CPME 31, believes that if the demonstration takes place on Saturday, traders are likely to react very badly:
“There are going to be reactions that are beyond reason, because the situation itself is beyond reason. We’re dying. And I find us well behaved for people who are dying, because this feeling is not manifested at the moment. There is not too much hatred and revolt, because the Covid-19 is an enemy that has no physical representation. On the other hand, if we realize that there are natural persons who will harm our survival, we fear epidermal reactions . I do not fear it, I even see it.”