Act V Yellow Vests, the origin of the movement, its future and its end?

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Since its beginning the 17 last November, the movement of Yellow Vests is the news that echoes in the media. This event has already caused a lot of damage in France. It has grown and many people are wondering about the future of this movement. Until when will the blockages last? Will the event take on other proportions? A little reminder of the origin and the main demands of the movement of the Yellow Vests, while evoking how this movement can end ...

The origins of the Yellow Vests movement and its specificities (compared to other popular protests)

Unlike other earlier events organized by trade union associations, the launching and development of this mobilization was carried out entirely from the Internet without real leader (it is a spontaneous movement citizen). This through social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, but also through dedicated platforms ... For example, on Econology, we talk about movement of yellow vests on forums since the November 4. This topic already has more 800 interventions (that it is for or against the movement) since this date!

Following the increase in fuel prices and the announcement of the application of new taxes in January 2019, the movement of Yellow Vests began with the broadcast on social media ofcalls from citizens to protest. Indeed, the 29 may 2018, Priscilla Ludosky, a motorist from Seine-et-Marne, is launching an online request to claim a reduction in fuel prices at the pump. In the introduction of its application, it mentions the increase of 3,8 cents / liter for gasoline and 7,6 cents / liter for diesel, implemented from January 2018. In addition, the motorist specified the importance of taxes reported at the price of the product.

Protesters in yellow vest in France 17 November 2018
Protesters in yellow vest in France 17 November 2018, blocking the circulation

Once launched, the request was an instant success. The October 25 2018, she has collected up to 226 000 signatures. At the end of November, this figure exceeds one million.

Two truck drivers (Eric Drouet and Bruno Lefevre) from Seine-et-Marne publish on Facebook a call for national blocking against the rise in fuel prices October 10. This block is scheduled for the November 17. The organization of the event took place during this first national event, which continued every day and until today. This event is said to be unstructured because for the moment, it has no designated representatives. Supporters do not want to be chaired by unions, let alone by politicians.

Who are the yellow vests?

The protest movement of the Yellow Vests is like a jacquerie. It is therefore a citizen movement flowing from a grassroots crowd, caused by taxation considered, with some reasons, poorly distributed or unfair. The participants are mainly citizens representing the middle class who are tired of being bludgeoned economically from all sides. They are mainly inhabitants of periurban areas (population of peripheral cities) and rurality, artisans, employers and employees of small businesses ...

Public opinion and opposition parties in support of mobilization

According to the survey, public opinion largely supports the movement of Yellow Vests and that from the beginning. Those providing support include the popular categories, as well as the inhabitants of rural communes and small towns. But also big cities since polls were used, at the end of November, to more than 80% support for movement!

Moreover, many leaders of opposition political parties also support the event namely Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, Jean Lassalle, Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Laurent Wauquiez ... with more or less effective political recovery attempts ...

The main claims

Originally, the Yellow Vest movement was focused solely on raising the price of fuel and the tax, and their increases, which are considered excessive, is no longer the case now. The demands have been extended to touch almost all the economic aspects of French society, ie all the sensitive points judged unfair by the citizens. Thus, in addition to the cost of fuel, they also concern the price of tolls, the technical control of cars, the measures unfavorable to motorists, the purchasing power of the middle and popular classes, privatized public debt through finance, education, retirement, Citizen Initiative Referendum (RIC)... Some even demand the resignation or dismissal of President Emmanuel Macron.

Young couple in yellow vests
A young couple in yellow vests

How and when can the yellow vests move and will it end?

Violence caused by the mobilization of Yellow Vests has already caused significant material damage by small isolated groups. Paris is particularly affected by violence. Nevertheless the figures showed that economically it was one of the regions that had suffered the least losses in terms of turnover. The most affected region is Champagne-Ardennes.

The 17 November demonstration began very early on the capital. The blocking of the peripheries started at 7 h 30, where tens of thousands of protesters marched on the Champs-Élysées Avenue in the early afternoon. On their way to the Elysee Palace, they blocked the Place de la Concorde.

The Ministry of the Interior communicates the next day the figures for the day of 17 November. According to him, we would count 287 710 demonstrators to 17 h throughout France, 2 034 sites occupied by the demonstrations, 409 injured people, 1 death, 117 arrests of which 73 custody. However, according to the elected representatives of left and right, the Ministry of the Interior has underestimated these figures.

The blockades have subsequently continued throughout France and the number of supporters has increased. High school students also join the mobilization to protest the baccalaureate reforms. The arrests are increasing and since 8 last December, the government deploys 89 000 law enforcement agents on the French territory, with 12 armored vehicles of the Gendarmerie in Paris.

According to figures from the Ministry of the Interior collected following the demonstrations, there are 136 000 protesters, 1 723 interpellations (1 082 in Paris) and 1 220 custody.

The future of Yellow Vest mobilization

The government has announced that the claims of Yellow Vests could not be easily resolved.

During his televised speech on Monday 10 December, President Emmanuel Macron announced some measures he wants to put in place to attempt to resolve the claims of the yellow vests. Among these immediate measures, there is the increase of 100 € / month of the bonus of activity for the employees with SMIC who can touch it (and not SMIC as many people believed it Monday night), the abandonment of the rise in the CSG for pensioners receiving less than 2 000 € / month and the exemption from overtime.

However, for Yellow Vests, the announcements of the President did not sound like real evidence of efforts for the revalorization of their purchasing power and their social condition. France Insoumise does not hesitate to speak aboutscam about Macron's proposals of 10 december.

The protesters are studying how they will continue their fight. How to be heard at best in the face of a government that seems to ignore the difficulties of a growing number of French? And this struggle does not concern only the French, since Yellow Vests have appeared in other countries. Especially in Belgium, where important actions have already been taken, such as blocking fuel depots!

The Yellow Vest movement does not have any leaders yet. Some of them support the election of representatives. Despite differences of opinion, all supporters seem willing to to move towards structuring the movement.

An act V is very strongly possible for Saturday 15 December. Jean-Luc Mélenchon even encourages the continuation of this mobilization.

For the moment, it is therefore difficult to know when and especially how the movement of the Yellow Vests will end. As long as the demands are not met, revolts will continue. On the side of the government, Emmanuel Macron and Edouard Philippe are looking for a way to avoid act V ... certainly in vain! Except via a police repression and state always more violent? These intimidation methods, used during the first 4 acts against, in particular, journalists, we seem unworthy of a democracy like France!

Let's hope that the 5 act of tomorrow will show less violence ... and this in the 2 camps!

To stay informed about the evolution of the movement, follow the topic on forum news from Yellow Vests


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