RNA - France’s Yellow Vests have marched for 48th consecutive weekend around the country. The past 11 months have been filled with violent repression, mass arrests and what many say is a media campaign orchestrated against them.
Despite all the efforts to discredit them and to confuse Black Bloc anarchists with the Yellow Vests, recent polls show that half the country still supports the movement. However, bans on peaceful protests, steep fines and the threat of police brutality continue to intimidate many from showing up each Saturday.
While the number of protesters in Paris has been down over the last month, each Saturday one city in France is chosen as the focal point of the Yellow Vests. Thousands and thousands of people always turn up to march there, as they did this week in the southwestern city of Toulouse.
This week, President Emmanuel Macron’s nomination for one of the top posts in the European Commission was rejected, in a humiliating first for France. Sylvie Goulard had already been forced to resign as Defense Minister due to allegations of corruption, and yet Macron thought she was fit to work at the pan-European level. Her rejection is being widely called a “slap in the face” to Macron’s “arrogance” and lack of “humility,” but many say it goes deeper than that.
Last month, the Yellow Vests were credited with stopping a 10th consecutive austerity budget, but their demands remain the same: social, economic, ecological and democratic justice for the poor, pensioners and the average Frenchman suffering since the start of the Great Recession.
Ramin Mazaheri/Press TV, Paris