The Yellow Vests are a movement launched via social networks by as yet unknown citizens who bring together discontented people from all sides. The movement is characterized by a violence (from the security forces as well as from the demonstrators) and an anxiety-provoking climate that keeps growing.
Summary history of the Yellow Vests
Summary of the Origins of the Yellow Vests movement
- The Yellow Vests movement was launched by unknown people through social networks.
- It is not, notably, the unions that launched the Yellow Vests movement.
- Originally, it is about protests against the cost considered too high of fuel prices at the pump
- The first real protests took place
Summary Yellow Vests – Act I
- Saturday, November 17, 2018 takes place what is called “Act I” of the Yellow Vests movement.
- It consists mainly of blockades and especially demonstrations.
- These demonstrations gather up to nearly 300,000 people in France (according to the Ministry of the Interior).
- One person died.
Summary Yellow Vests – Act II
- Saturday, November 24, 2018, the protests are gaining momentum in terms of violence.
- The Yellow Vests manage to access the Champs-Elysees, which had been prohibited by the government.
- 166,000 demonstrators are counted by the ministry
Summary Yellow Vests – Act III
- Saturday, December 1, the blockades continue and the demonstrations resume throughout France.
- The Arc de Triomphe is vandalized. The statue of the Allegory of Liberty broken will be reported many times by the French and international press.
- The figures of the Ministry indicate 136000 demonstrators in France.
Summary Yellow Vests – Act IV
- Saturday, December 8, the demonstrations resume. It is in a climate of concern about violence (both security forces and demonstrators) that they are expected.
- 89 000 security forces have been mobilized throughout France, and 12 armored vehicles.
- Christophe Castaner announced at the end of the day 125,000 demonstrators in France, and 1,385 arrests throughout the territory.
On December 10, the president spoke at 8pm on television and on the internet.
As a preamble, Macron explained, among other things,“The events of recent weeks have deeply disturbed the nation, they have mixed legitimate claims and a chain of unacceptable violence.”
He also announced 4 measures afterwards:
- Increase of the Smic of 100 euros per month
- Overtime without taxes or charges from 2019
- Payment of an optional exceptional bonus
- Cancellation of the CSG increase for pensioners earning less than 2000 euros per month
Violence from the police and the demonstrators
Violence of the demonstrations
The symbol of the violence of the demonstrations is undoubtedly what happened at the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées on December 1st.
Violence of the security forces
The symbol this time is probably the
François Ruffin who relayed the video on his facebook account denounces:“What to think of a power that treats its youth like that? That it only holds by the force of the truncheons. That it has no future. That it is in agony
Yellow vests – Media coverage and violence
For 64% of French people, the coverage by TV channels of the Yellow Vests movement has had the effect of “increasing the level of violence of the demonstrations.”
For 59% of the French, it has also “increased the scale of the movement”.
For a third of the French, the media coverage has had no effect on the violence nor on the mobilization.
→ Summary of The Wealth of Nations – Adam Smith