Keyword: yellow vests
A document obtained by Mediapart reveals that the national director of France’s CRS riot police ordered the deployment of Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifles during nationwide demonstrations on January 12th by the ‘yellow vest’ movement. The militarisation of policing tactics during the recurrent demonstrations, in protest over falling living standards for low- and middle-income earners, includes an almost systematic use of rubber bullets and stun grenades that have caused numerous serious injuries. Karl Laske reports on the arsenal employed and the dramatic consequences of the escalating violence.
France’s ‘yellow vest’ protestors were back on the streets this weekend, as their movement calling for better living standards for low- and middle-income earners held its tenth nationwide day of action. While some demonstrations have been marred by violence from extremist groups, there is mounting criticism of aggressive police tactics. These notably include the widespread and often indiscriminate use of rubber bullets and stun grenades that have caused, according to several estimations, around 100 serious and life-changing injuries to protestors and bystanders. Mediapart co-editor Carine Fouteau argues here why these highly dangerous weapons, which France is one of very few countries to deploy in such situations, should be immediately banned from crowd-control policing.
The French interior ministry estimated around 84,000 people took part in nationwide 'yellow vest' marches on Saturday in protest at falling living standards for low- and middle-income earners, the same amount as last weekend and a show of force in the face of government measures aimed at appeasing the movement.
French President Emmanuel Macron held a marathon seven-hour conference with local mayors in Normandy on Tuesday, the start of a national consultation on policy issues follwing the rolling 'yellow vest' protests, but caused controversy with disparaging comments about some in economic difficulty.
Two months ago in the small town of Commercy in north-east France a group of 'yellow vest' protestors created a citizens popular assembly. It is gaining supporters: on January 26th around 30 delegations from across France will gather in the town. François Bonnet reports on a local experiment in what some yellow vests define as “libertarian municipalism”, a concept pioneered by American social theorist Murray Bookchin.
In an open letter published in the French press on Monday, President Emmanuel Macron has set in motion a three-month series of debates in which citizens are invited to local venues to air their opinions and grievences about government policies, called in a move to appease the continuing 'yellow vest' protests against falling living standards among low- and middle-income earners.
Some 59 people were questioned, including for having unlawful weapons and participating in a group with the goal of committing violent crimes.
France's interior minister Christophe Castaner said the wilful damage was a threat to road safety and put lives in danger.
On Monday January 7th the French prime minster Édouard Philippe announced plans to boost the array of security powers at the state's disposal with, in particular, a new law against rioters and undeclared demonstrations, plus preventative targeting of protestors presumed to be violent. Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel points out that the prime minister did not utter a word about police violence, demonstrating that in making this repressive decision the government has turned its back on the sometimes vague democratic demands made by the 'yellow vest' protestors.
Chantal Jouanno stood down after furore over revelation she is paid €14,700 a month to head France's National Commission for Public Debate.
Online campaigns began after former professional boxer handed himself in to police after he was filmed punching officers during protest in Paris.
What began as a rebellion over cost of living has morphed into something more perilous - an assault on his presidency and France's institutions.
One of the key demands made by the 'yellow vest', or 'gilet jaune', protestors in France is for the holding of what are called citizens initiative referendums. How exactly should such a demand be interpreted? In an interview with Mediapart academic Julien O'Miel, a specialist in participative democracy, sees it as a desire by citizens to take control of the political agenda. Pauline Graulle reports.
Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux escaped from office through back door after protesters broke into compound and smashed vehicles.
Government says the yellow vest protest movement belongs to 'agitators' who promote insurrection and want to topple the government.