Keyword: yellow vests

The real story behind 'yellow vest' France

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Sociologist Benoît Coquard specialises in the study of the working classes who live in rural areas of France. He has just published a book which rejects many of the old assumptions about France's declining countryside and the supposed isolation of citizens living in 'peripheral' areas around the country's large conurbations cities. As Mediapart's Joseph Confavreux writes, the book also provides valuable insight into the origins of the so-called 'yellow vest' protests which began sweeping France a year ago.

How French police formed a 'war' unit to tackle 'yellow vest' protestors

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Maria, aged, 19, five days after she was attacked by police officers in Marseille on December 8th 2018. © DR Maria, aged, 19, five days after she was attacked by police officers in Marseille on December 8th 2018. © DR

Earlier this year Mediapart reported how a 19-year-old woman had her skull fractured by police in Marseille, southern France, as she lay on the ground during a day of demonstrations. The same investigation has now revealed the existence of a new hybrid police unit that was created to take on the so-called 'gilets jaunes' or 'yellow vest' protestors in France. These officers were not trained in public order policing yet the initiative was backed by a memo from the Ministry of the Interior and superior officers who considered that in a time of “war” anything and everything is permissible. Pascale Pascariello reports.

French police officer faces judge over 'yellow vest' violence

Court hearing comes days after first anniversary of anti-government rallies, which were marked by clashes with police in Paris last Saturday.

Yellow vest protests marred by violence in Paris

Yellow vest demonstrators held marches in towns and cities across France on Saturday, as the social protest movement against falling living standards for low- and middle-income earners marks one year of consecutive weekly action, when the interior ministry claimed a nationwide turnout of about 28,000, the highest since April, while in Paris groups of troublemakers who burned vehicles and attacked commercial property clashed with police in Paris who made more than 120 arrests.

Yellow vests: French social protests to mark first anniversary

The nationwide yellow vest (gilet jaune) movement that began in protests against a planned tax hike on fuel and snowballed into widespread weekly anti-elite, anti-government demonstrations protesting living conditions for low- and middle-income earners will reach its first year of continued action this weekend, when a strong turnout is expected in towns and cities across France.

Macron in overseas territory of Réunion amid cost of living protests

French president was greeted by a general strike and a crisis situation on Indian Ocean island that hasn't let up over the past 12 months.

'Yellow vest' protestors back on French streets

Renewed 'yellow vest' movement demonstrations were held across France on Saturday, in protests againt President Emmanuel Macron's economic policies and in particular over falling living standards for low- and middle-income households, during which clashes erupted in the north-west town of Nantes. 

Macron comments prompt Putin riposte on 'yellow vest' protests

At a press conference ahead of their talks at the French President's official retreat on the Mediterranean coast on Monday, Emmanuel Macron tackled Russian President Vladimir Putin on the crackdown on recent opposition protests in Moscow, to which the Russian leader spoke of a toll of deaths and injuries in France's 'yellow vest' protests, adding that, 'We wouldn’t want such events to take place in the Russian capital'. 

The inevitable tragedies as French government turns a blind eye to police violence

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French President Emmanuel Macron with his interior minister Christophe Castaner. © Thibault Camus/Reuters French President Emmanuel Macron with his interior minister Christophe Castaner. © Thibault Camus/Reuters

Over the course of recent months, the French government has continued to deny the mounting evidence of unwarranted violent behaviour by police, notably during the rolling ‘yellow vest’ protests when an 80-year-old woman died after being hit by a teargas grenade fired at her window and hundreds of people, both demonstrators and bystanders, have been injured, many seriously. Last month, a 24-year-old man went missing after he fell into the Loire river in Nantes, in north-west France, during a police charge on a group partying to music on a quayside. In this opinion article, Mediapart’s Michaël Hajdenberg argues why, by refusing to condemn the abuses and even lending legitimacy to them, the executive has created a dangerous situation in which further tragic events appear inevitable.

Turnout at France's 'yellow vest' protest hits fresh low

But the demonstrations - on the 29th weekend in a row since they first erupted last November - passed off largely peacefully.

French police to face charges over 'yellow vest' protest injuries

Public prosecutor Rémy Heitz said that after investigations into 174 incidents, police officers would be sent before the courts by end of the year.

Turnout down for French 'yellow vest' protestors' 28th weekend protest

On the 28th rolling Saturday of demonstrations by the so-called 'yellow vest' anti-government movement protesting falling living standards for low- and middle-income earners, and demanding greater say in policy-making decisions, the interior ministry said nationwide turnout had plunged to 11,500, the lowest so far, while the movement claimed 35,000.

French 'yellow vest' weekend protests approach six-month mark

French interior ministry figures put turnout for the 26th consecutive weekend of nationwide marches by the so-called 'yellow vest' anti-government movement, protesting falling living standards for low- and middle-income earners, at just under 19,000 on Saturday, suggesting the numbers are bottoming out after nearly six months of demonstrations. 

An incendiary government

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President Emmanuel Macron speaking to 600 mayors at Souillac in south-west France, January 18th 2019. © Reuters President Emmanuel Macron speaking to 600 mayors at Souillac in south-west France, January 18th 2019. © Reuters

The fabricated claim that the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris was attacked by protestors during the traditional May Day demonstrations was a lie too far by a government that denies the reality of its own unpopularity, writes Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel. Its downward authoritarian spiral, he argues, is making it an accomplice in the destruction of democratic ethics.

Lowest turnout for 'yellow vest' protests after May Day clashes

Downturn in protestor numbers could be a relief to President Macron, who made policy proposals to address the issues raised by the movement.