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Report: Yellow Vests Act 22

Last updated on 28th July 2019

April 13th in France marked the final group of sanctioned Yellow Vests rallies before the April 20th “ultimatum-2”, which will serve as the sequel to the first ultimatum that took place on March 16th. More about what this means later. The bulk of the action of Act 22 took place in Paris and in Toulouse.

Paris

In Paris, where I was, the main sanctioned march started at Place de la Nation and terminated at Place de la République, with a pit stop at Place de la Bastille along the way. Before reaching the intermediate place 3 police cars were parked on a road that was parallel to the sanctioned route, and sadly for the police the Yellow Vests spotted them and began to approach them. The policemen thus started their engines and tried to escape quickly. I.e., they narrowly escaped being mobbed.

At Place de la Bastille the Yellow Vests trolled the traffic by placing barricades in the middle of the road.

The Yellow Vests (YVs) arrived at Place de la République at around 15:00. The first clashes with the police happened when the YVs tried to block traffic, which was actually successful, and the drivers themselves didn’t seem to mind too much. The police, however, did, and tried to push the YVs away from the road. This sparked over an hour of back and forth exchanges – the YVs throw glass bottles at the police, and the police tried to push the YVs backwards.

When the YVs made a little fire on the square the police charged everyone, knocking a man to the floor. He didn’t move whatsoever, and the street medics carried him away. I don’t know what happened to him, but it looked quite bad. Just after this the police charged again, grabbed a young girl, and then detained her. This then provoked another round of bottle throwing. I saw a photographer pursue the police because they damaged his camera, to which the police themselves just scoffed at him. It turned out that the YVs had sanctioned their presence at Place de la République with the perfect until 22:00, but by the time this became known the police had already surrounded the square and aimed 2 water cannons at it.

READ:  Towards a Strategic Impasse Between Macron and the Yellow Vests?

Oh, and yes, I did notice some Assange posters, here is an example:

All my videos that illustrate the things I mentioned above are here:

Toulouse

The Yellow Vests event in Toulouse was not sanctioned, which is why the police surrounded the meeting point and tried to thwart it from the beginning.

After being dispersed in the morning, the Toulouse Yellow Vests procession was temporarily reformed, before the police again proceeded to fire tear gas.

Prominent Yellow Vest Maxime Nicolle managed to learn from the police that they are paid €500 each for the weekend’s repressive work.

Apparently the police had a problem with a water cannon (ha ha).

And one car burst into flames.

The Macron regime even wheeled out the armoured vehicles.

As the Yellow Vests continued to protest in afternoon in the streets, a man was wounded and visibly unconscious. With him, while Street Medics began their intervention, a woman in tears strived to express her feelings in front of the cordon of policemen.

In addition to this, one Street Medic was also wounded.

Lastly, one Yellow Vest was thrown to the ground by one of Macron’s henchmen.

The Yellow Vests say that there were around 80,000 participants for Act 22 across all of France.

Conclusion

So what’s going on in France? Basically, the Yellow Vests thought that their actions during Acts 2 and 3 would be enough to remove Macron and obtain favourable policies. They were obviously wrong. Ever since then, Macron has deployed his media/PR machine to depict the Yellow Vests as illiterate barbarians who are in the minority and just smash things, and, apparently, they are jealous of the rich people. After Act 3 a learning curve started, and during this time different protesters have lost their eyes, legs, arms, hands, etc as a result of serious police brutality. Seeing that their different Saturday strategies had not necessarily worked – whether it be a sanctioned or unsanctioned rallies – it was understood that force had to be used to give the movement momentum and to counter Macron’s PR tricks. Thus, after Act 18’s events the Yellow Vests were banned from demonstration on the Champs-Élysées. And this is where we now are – 4 sanctioned rallies later, with the Yellow Vests in serious need of more momentum. Hence why another “ultimatum” (a large-scale unsanctioned protest in Paris) was declared for April 20th. But what’s interesting here is that May 1st is only around the corner, and it is expected that the protest on this day will be very large.

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Of course, there is no deep analysis in these statements – I am only stating facts. But I hope to write a more analytical piece closer to April 20th, because there is a lot to say and I don’t want to clutter this report too much.


Ollie Richardson

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