Working from his one-room apartment near Paris airport, Jerome Rodrigues has been trying to re-invigorate a Yellow Vest protest movement that two years ago challenged President Emmanuel Macron's rule then petered out, reports U.S. News & World Report.
Now, public anger at government measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, which some people say are an attack on their liberty, has given Rodrigues and his movement fresh momentum.
Last weekend, police estimated that 100,000 people joined protests against the measures - some of them under the banner of the Yellow Vests. Another round of protests is planned for this weekend.
An internal interior ministry report, seen by Reuters, described last week's protests as "exceptional in their scale," warned further large protests were likely, and said some officials associated with the government's COVID-19 measures needed to be extra vigilant about their security.
Rodrigues, one of the movement's best-known figures who lost an eye when he was hit with a projectile at a protest two years ago, said the latest protests had attracted people beyond the usual Yellow Vest faithful.
"I've seen a lot of first-time protesters," Rodrigues, who wears a prosthetic eye, said at his apartment. "Healthcare workers, restaurant owners too, all kinds of people, children."