Cookie Consent by Fewer ‘gilets jaunes’ across France for 21st weekend French News and Views in English | The Connexion

Fewer ‘gilets jaunes’ across France for 21st weekend

Just over 22,300 people came out for the 21st gilets jaunes protest across France this weekend, which saw the lowest numbers since the movement began, according to official figures.

7 April 2019
Gilets jaunes protesters march in Paris on the 21st consecutive weekend of the movement
By Connexion journalist

There were 3,500 in Paris, according to the ministry for the Interior, although protester figures always show a higher number due to variations in counting methods.

This weekend, some protesters said there were 50,000 more people present compared to official figures.

Saturday April 5 marked the fifth consecutive month of protests since the movement began in November 2018. It comes three days after the “anti-vandalism” law intended to prohibit violent protests and impose stricter sanctions on violent individuals, was blocked.

It also comes two days before the first conclusions from contributions to President Emmanuel Macron’s Grand Débat National are set to be drawn.

In Paris, 43 people were arrested, alongside 14,919 on-site reprimands, and nine verbal warnings regarding protests in areas that police said had not been authorised.

Éric Drouet, one of the so-called “leaders” of the movement, received a caution for allegedly being in a forbidden protest area, near the Champs-Élysées; a claim that his lawyer has denied.

In Rouen, protests turned aggressive after a relatively-calm start.

Rubbish bins were set on fire, a building was damaged, and a construction vehicle was set alight by a group of people dressed in black. Tear gas was used against some protesters, and the movement was prevented from entering the town centre.

Elsewhere, there were protests and some clashes in most major towns and cities, including Lyon, Dijon, Nice, Nantes, Montpellier, Bordeaux and Toulouse.

A number of towns have taken out decrees banning protests in the town centre, including Auxerre (Yonne, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) and Bourg-en-Bresse (Ain, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes).

In Saint-Nazaire, around 500 gilets jaunes protesters have gathered - from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 - to hold the second “assemblée des assemblées (assembly of meetings)”.

This saw working groups and others join together to focus on “internal and external the face of repression...and reprisals”.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Get news, views and information from France