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Report: Act 21 of Yellow Vests

Last updated on 28th July 2019

The first Yellow Vests protest of April, and the 21st consecutive one as a whole, took place across France against the background of uncertainty as to what the Macron regime will do now that the fake “grand debate” has ended.

Paris

In the capital Saturday’s protest took the form of a sanctioned march that covered 10km – from Place de la République to La Défense – with the theme of denouncing tax evasion and general financial fraud. Below is the advert for the event published a week ago:

What’s interesting is that just a few days prior the Yellow Vests carried out a special operation that is connected to this topic of tax evasion: they occupied Starbucks.

And the night prior to Act 21 they visited Macron’s villa in Le Touquet:

Concerning the reason why La Défence was chosen as the destination for Act 21, it is the heart of finance and is home to four prime targets: the multinational companies AREVA, SUEZ, TOTAL, and SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE. The Yellow Vests accuse these companies of pursing only financial profits to the detriment of the human, morals, and common sense.

SUEZ is involved in a scandal concerning the price of water. It does it’s little business with elected officials on the backs of its users. Water, a vital need, is considered as an overchargeable product by this multinational company.

TOTAL is involved in really dirty scandals – increasing oil and fuel prices for users and being the first polluter without any moral or fiscal responsibility. With an average of 10 billion profit per year, this multinational company also practices tax optimisation …

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AREVA is involved in a corruption scandal. A case of corruption that barely touched the dictatorial Prime Minister Édouard Phillipe, who was the director of public affairs of Areva at the time. The group could be forced to pay €24 billion to US justice as a fine.

And SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE is in endless scandals. This bank is the champion of financial abuses: tax evasion, insider trading, speculative fiasco, golden parachutes, huge bonuses, mass dismissals, investments in projects that destroy the environment …

Jérôme Rodriguez, a Yellow Vest figurehead, explained to RT France that “there are small bosses who will pay up to 40% of tax, And then there are those who will pay only 8%, by tax exemption or tax loopholes … We are in a world where the more you win and the less you pay, and the less you win the more you pay.” By the way, it turns out that I can be seen in the column passing by the RT France correspondent – at the 00:14 mark.

The Deputy from Seine-Saint-Denis Alexis Corbière, who also was in Paris, stated to RT France that “people are fed up … The problem is expensive living, the problem is purchasing power.” He mentioned the minimum wage, which doesn’t increase, and the “freezing of the index point” for civil servants.

Another prominent Yellow Vest, Eric Drouet, was given a €135 fine because he parked his car near the Champs-Elysees in the “zone where protests are banned”, even though he wasn’t wearing a Yellow Vest and was with his mother…

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All my photos/videos from the march can be found in the album below:

Elsewhere

In Nantes the police dispersed the Yellow Vests with tear gas, near an amusement park

At one point the police had penned in some Yellow Vests and showed them the meaning of “democracy”.

In Rouen a construction machine was burned, and signs and bus shelters were damaged.

The image below, taken by a AFP photographer in Rouen, also leaves quite an impression.

In Toulouse the police charged and gassed the Yellow Vests on a bridge. The protesters were totally squashed and were unable to escape the trap.

In Montpellier the Yellow Vests blocked the A709 highway.

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The final video (update: it has been deleted), which does not mention a place but does specify that it concerns Act 21, shows Macron’s henchmen treating a human being like a piece of meat.

Conclusion

All in all, Act 21 was a day of sanctioned protests and fines. It is seen that many Yellow Vests prefer to do more radical actions and are thus waiting for April 20th (the second “ultimatum”) and/or May 1st. In the evening of April 6th there were already discussions among Yellow Vests about the future of the movement, since things seem to be in an impasse. The questions that are being asked in particular:

  • Should we continue the sanctioned protests? (hinting at carrying out unsanctioned ones only);
  • Should we gather on other days, and not just Saturday’s?
  • Should we reclaim the roundabouts? (Macron dispersed Yellow Vest occupations long ago);
  • Should we do more occupations/blockades?
  • A strike could allow to tip the balance of power?

Judging by the turnout for Act 21, it seems the majority prefer to fight fire with fire and repeat what happened on March 16th – the difference between Act 20 and Act 21 is 30,000 fewer protestors – 100,000 vs 70,000 respectively.

I hold the opinion that May 1st is going to be rather explosive.


Ollie Richardson

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