After Saturday’s protests in the centre of Paris that were marred by “scenes of war”, it seems the “gilets jaunes” (yellow vests) are more determined to be heard than ever. Here’s what we know about their next moves.
A week of protests culminated in violence on the Champs-Elysées on Saturday when anti-government demonstrators clashed with riot police that left the famous avenue looking like a war zone.
While the violence, attributed to extremists both on the left and the right who infiltrated the ranks of the gilets jaunes, marred the movement and prompted much criticism from the government, it doesn’t look like they’re ready to quit just yet.
In fact, the gilets jaunes seem to be getting more organised, appointing on Monday eight official spokespeople who have already requested a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and the French government. Macron likened images of the rioting on the Champs-Elysées to “war scenes”.
The spokespeople are not “leaders or decision makers” but rather “messengers” who will “engage in serious and necessary contact with representatives of the state and government and facilitate communication between citizen protesters and those coordinating the protests”, with the goal of keeping the group “apolitical”.