PARIS (Sputnik) – In France, the first anniversary marks of France's now celebrated yellow vest events, which has left an ever lasting imprint on society and politics, the protesters are still determined to continue with protests that the government has not heard their requests.
The anniversary of the movement was marked by skirmishes across the country on Saturday. The rallies became violent in the heart of Paris, protesters hit police and they resorting to the tear gas and water cannons. More than 260 people have been arrested during samediman demonstrations across the country, while more than 170 have been apprehended in the capital, according to recent data from the Ministry of the Interior.
France, especially in Paris, has been swept by yellow vest protests since-November 2018. Initially started as rallies against rising fuel taxes, protests then turned into a large-scale movement that representatives have to streets every Saturday. After the government abandoned plans to raise the fuel tax, protesters continued to hit the streets across France, demanding less taxes, higher salaries and even the resignation of French President Emmanuel Macron.
The protests of yellow vests
The rallies often ended in violent clashes between the police and the demonstrators, with stones and projectiles hurling later at officers, smashing cars and shop windows and mounting, then burning barricades. The police repeatedly used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the most violent protesters. The clashes gave rise to many injuries, some very serious, between the police and the demonstrators.
ALWAYS NOT HEARD
Sophie Tissier, from the group Decla ta (Declare your event) said that Macron did not hear one of the protesters' claims. For example, it does not take into account calls to organize a citizens' initiative referendum, a project process that allows citizens to have their say in the proposal or repeal of laws, she adds.
Many yellow jackets today continue to hit the streets of French cities demanding the reorganization of the political system. One of the protesters' calls is the dissolution of the National Assembly, the House of Parliament, an appeal they continue to make, as well as others at future protests.
Yet even though all yellow vest calls were heard, the protests were successful, in general, according to Tissier.
Meanwhile, the number of participants in events is decreasing significantly. About a year earlier, some 282,000 people joined the markets. This Saturday, only 28,000 people gathered for the protests.
Protest Yellow Vests
Tissier believes that the bans on demonstrations, as well as police violence, are the reasons for the decline in attendance.
HEAVY LOAD ON POLICE
Police work is also very successful these days. EricRoman, the National Secretary of the Angry Policemen (Police angry) police union said the agents who were called to limit the demonstrations also suffered a huge burden.
According to him, first, the police shared the views of the yellowgillets because the rallies raised the problems of the poor.
A year after the protests resulted not only in the decline of the participants, but also in the decline of the level of support for the movement. According to opinion polls of December 2019, yellow vests had the support of 70 percent of French citizens. However, in February 2019, more than half of the respondents – 56 per cent – expressed support for the end of the protests.
According to the recent Elabe survey, conducted on the eve of the anniversary of the protests, some 63 percent of French people said they were not like protests at the resumption, while 27 percent expressed support for the increase in the volume of the movement.