Act XIV: Will this be the last Saturday of 'yellow vest' protests in France?

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Act XIV: Will this be the last Saturday of 'yellow vest' protests in France?

As we approach the fourteenth consecutive Saturday of yellow vest action in France, we take a look at what’s planned and find out why organisers appear to be thinking of alternatives to counteract dwindling attendance numbers.


It’s almost three months since the “yellow vest” Saturday protest movement began and, although attendance numbers drop every weekend, there are still a number of protests planned across France for February 16. 

In Paris an event dubbed “Act 14- France at peace” will take place at 1pm on Saturday, although the meeting point has not yet been decided.

"How many more dead, wounded and mutilated victims must there be on each side? Let’s stop the hostility," write the organizers, inviting the "yellow vests" to remain "united and peaceful" as well as "avoid violent groups".

However two other rallies posted as events on Facebook are calling for an “insurrection” this Saturday, suggesting that not all voices in the yellow movement want the marches to be violence-free.

“It’s time to make ourselves heard, FORGET PACIFISM!” reads the post for the late morning protest in Place de l’Etoile.

The southern city of Bordeaux is also expecting another weekend of protest and violence now that anti-capitalism group “black block” is set to join a demo called for 1pm Saturday at the city’s Place de la Bourse.

'Return to the roundabouts'

The anarchist group, responsible for some of the violent incidents that have plagued recent gilets jaunes protests in the capital of Gironde, posted their participation on a Facebook group called “black yellow”, in which they also called for the yellow vests and the black blocks to join forces. 

 A “yellow night” march is also planned to start at Paris's Place de la République from 5pm onwards.

Then there are figureheads of the group such as Eric Drouet who want the weekend rallies rallies in Paris to be moved to Sunday to commemorate the three-month “anniversary” of the movement, born on November 17.

The first of its kind will be held this Sunday at 11am at the Arc de Triomphe.

This call for changing Saturday demos to Sundays has been replicated by other yellow vest figureheads such as Benjamin Cauchy, who thinks the marches should also return to their original place: France’s roundabouts.

"Staging marches on Sunday will allow families to take their baby in strollers out in the street. I doubt Interior Minister Castaner will send cops out with water cannons and rubber bullets if we do,” he wrote on a Facebook post.

"The movement wants to return to the city outskirts again, block major shopping centres, big national and international brands and disassociate itself from the thugs who remain in the city centres."



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