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(en) ait russia: France: The Return of the Yellow Vests [machine translation]
Sat, 23 May 2020 12:04:43 +0300
After the weakening of quarantine, in dozens of cities in France on May 16, hundreds of activists of the "yellow vests" movement again took
to the streets and squares, despite government bans on the pretext of an epidemic. They challenged the massive presence of the police, which
reacted to protests by dispersal, fines and warnings. ---- The French Minister of the Interior has warned that more than 10 people are
prohibited from gathering in the country. But this did not bother the protesters. ---- In Toulouse and Nantes, the "yellow vests" held small
scattered meetings in the city center at the beginning of the afternoon. They were surrounded by large police forces, which immediately
demanded that those gathered leave the place.
About a hundred Toulouse activists took part in protests in the city center until they were dispersed by the police. People gathered, as
before, at 14.00 at the Jean Zhores station. Almost none of them put on a vest - a symbol of movement. They were opposed by 3-4 times more
police officers. People scattered in small groups - in area and on the sidewalks. The police demanded that the crowd disperse. One of the
women with a banner refused to identify herself and was immediately captured. On July 14, protesters began to boo and scold the police, who
threatened to use force if the crowd remained in place. They moved to Capitol Square. On the way, those walking more and more often were
stopped and checked, about 50 fines were imposed. In the area of Saint-Georges Square, there was a skirmish with a counter-demonstration of
merchants who defamed protesters for "irresponsibility." In response, the "yellow vests" chanted: "Merchants exploit workers!" Demonstrators
broke through Pomm Street, chanting: "We are here! Even if Macron does not want us, we are here! " The police immediately drove them to the
applause of the merchants under the watchful eye of the mayor who was present there. In the end, the protesters quietly dispersed.
Several dozen demonstrators marched in Bordeaux.
In Paris, a group of protesters marched on Republic Square, in front of the police; 10 people were fined, 2 detained.
In Montpellier, several hundred "yellow vests" came to the central square of Comedy, where they were quickly surrounded by police. The
guards of the capitalist order began to beat the assembled with batons. One of the women was injured in the head, and firefighters rescued
her. The rally - "popular and social street access" - was organized by the Montpellier in Resistance initiative in protest against the
"incompetence of the government" in preparing for the epidemic and "using the situation to multiply measures that kill freedom,
authoritarian and based on cyber-tracking". "Against big capital and its state, for a living world of struggle without quarantine -
everything is on the streets!" - read the call. Participants were encouraged to exit with precautionary measures, including masks and
physical distance. "I am outraged. Repression is still here, but so are we. We need to count on us in the coming weeks, "says 32-year-old
Jean-Jacques, an activist of the movement, as they say, from the first hour. In the early evening in Montpellier, 7 people were seized: 5
for blocking the movement of trams, 1 for participating in a meeting with an unacceptable number of participants, and another 1 for
"violence" against a policeman.
Hundreds of people gathered for a share in Lyon. Many were masked, but the physical distance was difficult to maintain. Demonstrators,
including young people dressed in black, tried unsuccessfully to walk along the embankments in the direction of Bellecour Square, but they
were blocked by police and gendarmes.
In Marseilles, protesters gathered around 2 p.m. at the Old Port, most of them without vests. One could read the slogans on the banners:
"The worst of viruses is capitalism. We will destroy him! "; "I cough on my elbow, but resist on the street"; "The medals of the Macron
government: lies, incompetence, cynicism, a threat to the lives of other people ...". The procession began moving along La Cannebière, but
was immediately stopped by the police. Under tear gas, the demonstrators had to retreat. Protests erupted, capitalist order guards flew
objects and insults, and the police began to grab the participants to identify themselves.
On the pavement of the Old Port, people shared their bitterness. "The quarantined requirements were never met, and for two months the crisis
management taught us that we have a government on a different planet," says 66-year-old pensioner Sylvia, a former education worker. - Why
not take advantage of the situation to restore the tax on large fortunes? Or confiscate dividends? An urgent need to restore public services
and launch a plan to upgrade hospitals. " Annie, 69, a former teacher, criticizes the incompetence of the authorities: "If you manage, it
means to anticipate, then there is no management!" She bitterly sneers. - The reasons that give rise to all injustices are still here. We
are not going to give up. We are being pushed into an unbearable world. I'm afraid that it will be too late for our children and
grandchildren. " Several small active groups scattered along the streets of the city center. Others gathered at La Timon to pour out all
their bitterness. As a result, the Marseille police sentenced 56 people to a fine of 135 euros for non-compliance with restrictions on the
size of the meeting, and 1 person was arrested for obstructing police actions.
In Saint-Nazaire, more than 130 "yellow vests" and "ultra-left" from Nantes gathered at the beginning of the afternoon, and almost half of
them fined for violating the ban on demonstrations.
In Po, dozens of protesters gathered at the Zenit parking lot and moved to the hospital, to the sound of car horns. About a quarter of the
participants wore yellow vests. Demonstrators accused the authorities of adopting new repressive laws under the guise of an epidemic, for
example, the "Avia Law," which aims to control comments on social networks. As the 60-year-old former nurse Karin noted, speaking out is
getting harder and harder, and "the conditions are becoming more dictatorial." At the hospital, the protesters broke up into small groups
and took the roundabout at the entrance. They kept a physical distance; half of the participants were masked.
"This is the preparation of the second wave of Yellow Vests," said Fanny, with a smile, at the roundabout south of Grenoble, where she stood
with a dozen other protesters.
Shares were also held in Rouen, Angers, Strasbourg, Besancon, Carcassonne, Valenciennes and other cities.
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