Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Anger over COVID rules gives new impetus to France's Yellow Vests

CoronavirusJul 23, 2021 02:46AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Jerome Rodrigues, one of the yellow vest movement's leading figures, attends an interview with Reuters beside a protest of the "yellow vests" movement, in Paris, France, July 21, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Photo 2/3

By Caroline Pailliez and Clotaire Achi

TREMBLAY-EN-FRANCE, France (Reuters) - Working from his one-room apartment near Paris airport, Jerome Rodrigues has been trying to re-invigorate a Yellow Vest protest movement that two years ago challenged President Emmanuel Macron's rule then petered out.

Now, public anger at government measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, which some people say are an attack on their liberty, has given Rodrigues and his movement fresh momentum.

Last weekend, police estimated that 100,000 people joined protests against the measures - some of them under the banner of the Yellow Vests. Another round of protests is planned for this weekend.

An internal interior ministry report, seen by Reuters, described last week's protests as "exceptional in their scale," warned further large protests were likely, and said some officials associated with the government's COVID-19 measures needed to be extra vigilant about their security.

Rodrigues, one of the movement's best-known figures who lost an eye when he was hit with a projectile at a protest two years ago, said the latest protests had attracted people beyond the usual Yellow Vest faithful.

"I've seen a lot of first-time protesters," Rodrigues, who wears a prosthetic eye, said at his apartment. "Healthcare workers, restaurant owners too, all kinds of people, children."

"If there's one thing that can unite people today, it's anger."

Macron's administration has submitted legislation to parliament which will stop people entering restaurants and bars without a "health pass", showing they are vaccinated, have had a recent negative test, or have immunity from COVID-19. Opponents say the state is, de facto, forcing people to get jabbed.

The Yellow Vests have to compete to lead the anti-health pass movement with other groups; among them far-right politicians, and civil liberties campaigners.

Macron's allies say protests should not obscure what they say is a silent majority who support the measures, and believe they are needed to get life back to normal.

"Let's keep it in perspective," said Laetitia Avia, a member of parliament with Macron's party. "There were around 100,000 people protesting across the country, while there are millions of people who got themselves vaccinated."

FIRST-TIME PROTESTER

Mohamed Boukifa, a 40-year-old baker, joined Rodrigues at a Yellow Vest demonstration in Paris on Wednesday against the health pass.

He said he had followed the Yellow Vests over social media, but until now had never joined a demonstration.

"I'm not here because I'm against the vaccine" he said. "I'm here to defend our freedoms. We cannot be forced to get vaccinated." He said he had not had the jab, because he was worried about possible side effects.

The Yellow Vest movement started off in 2018 as a protest against taxes on diesel, then morphed into an outpouring of anger at high living costs and income inequality.

Yellow vests blocked roads and staged protest marches, often clashing with police. Billions of euros in tax cuts helped quell the uprising, and after six months it began to lose steam. Followers continued to protest, but in dwindling numbers.

The health pass protests have been mostly peaceful. But police used tear gas to disperse protests in Paris on July 14. Two vaccination centres were targeted in arson attacks. The speaker of the French parliament said some lawmakers who back the health pass received death threats.

None of those incidents have been linked to the Yellow Vests.

The interior ministry report seen by Reuters recommended extra security measures. "The longer the conflict goes on, the greater the risk that the most determined, and the most radical, will come in and take control of it," the memo said.

Anger over COVID rules gives new impetus to France's Yellow Vests
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
kim coleman
kim coleman Jul 23, 2021 2:25AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Funny how the globalist media that goes around saying that republicans are trying to take away people's right to vote by requiring ID does not seem to care at all that Macron is banning unvaccinated people from polling places. These globalist tyrants are literally trying to ban unvaccinated people from being able to vote.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email