French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.
Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to "the people", often juxtaposing this group against the "elite". There is no single definition of the term, which developed in the 19th century and has been used to mean various things since that time. In Europe, few politicians or political groups describe themselves as "populist" and in political discourse the term is often applied to others pejoratively. Within political science and other social sciences, various different definitions of populism have been used, although some scholars propose rejecting the term altogether.
A grassroots movement is one which uses the people in a given district, region, or community as the basis for a political or economic movement. Grassroots movements and organizations use collective action from the local level to effect change at the local, regional, national, or international level. Grassroots movements are associated with bottom-up, rather than top-down decision making, and are sometimes considered more natural or spontaneous than more traditional power structures. Grassroots movements, using self-organization, encourage community members to contribute by taking responsibility and action for their community. Grassroots movements utilize a variety of strategies from fundraising and registering voters, to simply encouraging political conversation. Goals of specific movements vary and change, but the movements are consistent in their focus on increasing mass participation in politics. These political movements may begin as small and at the local level, but grassroots politics as Cornel West contends are necessary in shaping progressive politics as they bring public attention to regional political concerns.
The movement spans the political spectrum. According to one poll, few of those protesting had voted for Macron in the 2017 French presidential election, and many had either not voted, or had voted for far-right or far-left candidates. Rising fuel prices initially sparked the demonstrations. Yellow high-visibility vests, which French law required all drivers to have in their vehicles and to wear during emergencies, were chosen as "a unifying thread and call to arms" because of their convenience, visibility, ubiquity, and association with working-class industries.
The 2017 French presidential election was held on 23 April and 7 May 2017. As no candidate won a majority in the first round on 23 April, a run-off was held between the top two candidates, Emmanuel Macron of En Marche! and Marine Le Pen of the National Front (FN), which Macron won by a decisive margin on 7 May. The presidential election was followed by legislative elections to elect members of the National Assembly on 11 and 18 June. Incumbent president François Hollande of the Socialist Party (PS) was eligible to run for a second term, but declared on 1 December 2016 that he would not seek reelection in light of low approval ratings, making him the first incumbent president of the Fifth Republic not to seek re-election.
Political alienation refers to an individual citizen's relatively enduring sense of estrangement from or rejection of the prevailing political system.
Far-right politics are politics further on the right of the left-right spectrum than the standard political right, particularly in terms of extreme nationalism, nativist ideologies, and authoritarian tendencies.
The protests have involved demonstrations and the blocking of roads and fuel depots. Some of the protests developed into major riots, described as the most violent since those of May 1968, and the police response, resulting in multiple incidences of loss of limb, has been criticised by international media. The movement has gained international attention, and protesters in many places around the world—some with similar grievances, others unrelated—have used the yellow vest as a symbol.
The May 1968 events in France refers to the volatile period of civil unrest throughout France during May 1968 which was punctuated by demonstrations and major general strikes as well as the occupation of universities and factories across France. At its height, the events brought the economy of France almost to a halt. The protests reached such a point that political leaders feared civil war or revolution; the national government itself briefly ceased to function after President Charles de Gaulle secretly fled France for a few hours. The protests spurred an artistic movement, with songs, imaginative graffiti, posters, and slogans.
The issue on which the French movement centred at first was the projected 2019 increase in fuel taxes, particularly on diesel fuel. The yellow vest became the symbol of the protests, as the French are required to have a yellow vest in their vehicles.
Already low in early 2018, French PresidentEmmanuel Macron's approval rating had dipped below 25% at the beginning of the movement. The government's method of curbing the budget deficit had proven unpopular, with Macron being dubbed the "président des très riches" (president of the very rich) by his former boss, François Hollande.
Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron is a French politician serving as President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra since 2017. He was Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs from 2014 to 2016.
François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande is a French politician who served as President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 2012 to 2017. He was previously the First Secretary of the Socialist Party from 1997 to 2008, Mayor of Tulle from 2001 to 2008, and President of the Corrèze General Council from 2008 to 2012. Hollande also served in the National Assembly of France twice for the department of Corrèze's 1st constituency from 1988 to 1993, and again from 1997 to 2012.
Late in June 2017, Macron's Minister of Justice, François Bayrou, had come under pressure to resign, due to the ongoing investigation into the financial arrangements of the political party (MoDem) he leads. During a radio interview in August 2018, Nicolas Hulot had resigned from the Ministry of the Environment, without telling either the President or the Prime Minister of his plans to do so. Criticized for his role in the Benalla affair, Gérard Collomb tried to resign in October 2018 as Minister of the Interior—leaving himself with only two jobs, i.e. senator and mayor of Lyon—but saw his resignation initially refused, then finally accepted.
François Bayrou is a French centrist politician and the president of the Democratic Movement (MoDem), who was a candidate in the 2002, 2007 and 2012 French presidential elections.
The Democratic Movement is a centrist political party in France that is characterised by a strong pro-European stance. MoDem was founded by François Bayrou to succeed the Union for French Democracy (UDF) and contest the 2007 legislative election, after his strong showing in the 2007 presidential election. Initially named the Democratic Party, the party was renamed "Democratic Movement", because there was already a small Democratic Party in France. MoDem secured an agreement with En Marche! in the 2017 legislative election after Bayrou endorsed the candidacy of Emmanuel Macron in February. In June 2017, the MoDem and its MEPs were accused of potentially fictitious employment practices within the European Parliament. Bayrou resigned on 21 June from his post as Justice Minister soon after he became embroiled in the fictitious employment scandals, and allegations of harassment against a journalist reporting on the scandal.
Nicolas Jacques André Hulot is a French journalist and environmental activist. He is the founder and president of the Fondation Nicolas Hulot, an environmental group established in 1990.
In the 1950s, diesel engines were used only in heavy equipment so, to help sell off the surpluses in French refineries, the state created a favorable tax regime to encourage motorists and manufacturers to use diesel. The 1979 oil crisis prompted efforts to curb petrol (gasoline) use, while taking advantage of diesel fuel availability and diesel engine efficiency. The French manufacturer Peugeot has been at the forefront of diesel technology, and from the 1980s, the French government favoured this technology. A reduction in VAT taxes for corporate fleets also increased the prevalence of diesel cars in France. In 2015, two of out of every three cars purchased consumed diesel fuel.
The price of petrol (SP95-E10) decreased during 2018, from €1.47 per litre in January to €1.43 per litre in the last week of November.
Prices of petrol and diesel fuel increased by 15 percent and 23 percent respectively between October 2017 and October 2018. The world market purchase price of petrol for distributors increased by 28 percent over the previous year; for diesel, by 35 percent. Costs of distribution increased by 40 percent. VAT included, diesel taxes increased by 14 percent over one year and petrol taxes by 7.5 percent. The tax increase had been 7.6 cents per litre on diesel and 3.9 cents on petrol in 2018, with a further increase of 6.5 cents on diesel and 2.9 cents on petrol planned for 1 January 2019.
The taxes collected on the sale of fuel are:
The domestic consumption tax on energy products (TICPE, la Taxe intérieure de consommation sur les produits énergétiques), which is not calculated based on the price of oil, but rather at a fixed rate by volume. Part of this tax, paid at the pump, goes to regional governments, while another portion goes to the national government. Since 2014, this tax has included a carbon component—increased each year—in an effort to reduce fossil fuel consumption. The TICPE for diesel fuel was raised sharply in 2017 and 2018 to bring it to the same level as the tax on petrol.
Value added tax (VAT), calculated on the sum of the price excluding tax and the TICPE. Its rate has been stable at 20 percent since 2014, after having been at 19.6 percent between 2000 and 2014.
The protest movement against fuel prices mainly concerns individuals, as a number of professions and activities benefit from partial or total exemptions from TICPE.
The protesters criticized Édouard Philippe's second government for making individuals liable for the bulk of the cost of the carbon tax. As the carbon tax has progressively been ramping up to meet ecological objectives, many who have chosen fossil fuel-based heating for their homes, outside of city centres—where a car is required—are displeased. President Macron attempted to dispel these concerns in early November by offering special subsidies and incentives.
Diesel prices in France increased by 16 percent in 2018, with taxes on both petrol and diesel increasing at the same time and a further tax increase planned for 2019, making diesel as expensive as petrol. President Macron is bearing the brunt of the protesters' anger for his extension of policies implemented under François Hollande's government.
Speed limit reduction
The government's decision last year to cut the speed limit on country roads from 1 July 2018 from 90 to 80km/h, despite opposition, was a factor in the rise of the movement, being seen as a failure to understand the needs of rural residents who are totally reliant on their cars. Vandalism of traffic enforcement cameras grew significantly after the yellow vest movement began.
The protesters claim that the fuel tax is intended to finance tax cuts for big business, with some critics such as Dania Koleilat Khatib claiming that spending should be cut instead. Macron said the goal of the administration's economic reform program is to increase France's competitiveness in the global economy, and says that the fuel tax is intended to discourage fossil-fuel use. Many of the yellow jackets are primarily motivated by economic difficulties due to low salaries and high energy prices. The majority of the yellow jacket movement wants to fight climate change, but are opposed to forcing the working class and the poor to pay for a problem caused by multinational corporations.
Yellow vest symbol
No one knows how the high-visibility yellow vest came to be chosen as the symbol and uniform for the movement, and no one has claimed to be its originator. The movement originated with French motorists from rural areas who had long commutes protesting against an increase in fuel taxes, wearing the yellow vests that, under a 2008 French law, all motorists are required to keep in their vehicles and to wear in case of emergency. The symbol has become "a unifying thread and call to arms" because yellow vests are common and inexpensive, easy to wear over any clothing, associated with working class industries, highly visible, and widely understood as a distress signal. As the movement grew to include grievances beyond fuel taxes, non-motorists in France put on yellow vests and joined the demonstrations, as did protesters in other countries with diverse (and sometimes conflicting) grievances of their own. In the words of one commentator, "The uniform of this revolution is as accessible as the frustration and fury."
Éric Drouet and a businesswoman named Priscillia Ludosky from the Seine-et-Marnedepartment started a petition on the change.org website in May 2018 that had reached 300,000 signatures by mid-October and close to a million a month later. Parallel to this petition, two men from the same Department launched a Facebook event for 17 November to "block all roads" and thus protest against an increase in fuel prices they considered excessive, stating that this increase was the result of the tax increase. One of the viral videos around this group launched the idea of using yellow jackets.
The movement is organised in a leaderless, horizontal fashion. Informal leaders can emerge, but some have been rejected by other demonstrators and even threatened. According to John Lichfield, some in the movement extend their hatred of politicians even to any "would-be politicians who emerge from their own ranks". The yellow jacket movement is not associated with a specific political party or trade union and has spread largely by social media.
The yellow vests movement has been described as a populist,grassroots movement for economic justice, opposing what it sees as the wealthy urban elite and the establishment. Many of the protesters live in tight financial circumstances, often in rural or outer-urban areas where there is "weak economic growth and high unemployment", and where depending on a car for transport is "essential, and increasingly costly". According to the BBC, "It’s no accident that cars were the spark that ignited this anger. Not needing one has become a status symbol in France. Those in city centres have a wealth of public transport to choose from, but you need to be rich enough to live in the centre of Paris or Marseille or Bordeaux".
The movement has drawn supporters from across the political spectrum. An opinion poll published by the Elabe Institute showed that in the presidential election in May 2017, 36% of the participants voted for Marine Le Pen and 28% for Jean-Luc Melenchon in the 2017 presidential elections. Five Le Monde journalists studied the yellow vests' forty-two directives and concluded that two-thirds were "very close" to the position of the "radical left" (Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Benoît Hamon, Philippe Poutou and Nathalie Arthaud), that nearly half were "compatible with" the position of the "far right" (Nicolas Dupont-Aignan and Marine Le Pen), and that all were "very far removed" from economically "liberal" policies (Emmanuel Macron and François Fillon). Étienne Girard, writing for Marianne, says the one figure that gathers wide support in the movement has been dead for thirty-two years: the former humourist and presidential candidate Coluche.
Some media outlets were shocked at the hostility they felt during the movement.BFM TV, for example, decided every journalist they sent out should be accompanied by a bodyguard on 8 December, because of the strong aversion the yellow jackets had shown for the network. About three weeks later, 25 yellow vests prevented Ouest-France from being delivered in parts of the Vendée and Loire-Atlantique because they did not like an editorial.
International media have also reported on the disproportionate violence used by the French police response against the protestors, including the use of explosive grenades and flashball weapons resulting in multiple incidences of loss of limb and sight by the protestors.
According to Stéphane Sirot, a specialist in the history of French trade unionism, the unions were hesitant to join forces with the yellow jackets because the movement included people trade unions traditionally do not represent (business owners and the self-employed) as well as people who simply did not want to negotiate. The presence of far-right elements in the movement was also off-putting to the CGT.
A significant number of misleading images and information have been circulated on social media concerning the protests. According to Pascal Froissart, the leaderless, horizontal aspect of the movement contributes to the dissemination of disinformation, as nobody is in charge of public relations or social media messaging.
One of the goals of the yellow jackets is to obtain the right to direct initiative, in other words the right to petition the government at any time to propose or repeal a law, to amend the constitution or remove a public official from office. The bottom-up Swiss model of government, where referendums are frequent, has been compared to the top-down French governmental system to explain the lack of a similar movement in French-speaking Switzerland.Étienne Chouard, a French economics and law teacher, and a retired dentist named Yvan Bachaud, who named the RIC, were among the earliest proponents of such referenda. More recently, several politicians included the idea in their 2017 presidential platforms.
The protests began on 17 November 2018, and attracted more than 300,000 people across France with protesters constructing barricades and blocking roads. John Lichfield, a journalist who witnessed the riots, described them as insurrectional.
In addition to roads, protesters also blocked as many as ten fuel depots. On this first day of protests, a 63-year-old pensioner was run over by a motorist in Le Pont-de-Beauvoisin while she was demonstrating at a roundabout at the entrance to a commercial zone. A motorcyclist died after being struck the same day by a van trying to get around a barricade.
Fatalities and injuries
As of 22 December, 2018, 10 fatalities had been linked to the protests in France.
As of 14 January, 2019 , 94 had been seriously injured, including 14 monocular blindness and one person still in coma, had been reported 
Adama Committee and Nuit Debout
On 29 November, François Ruffin, the founder of hard-left Fakir magazine, organised a mobilising meeting with various French left-wing movements, at which Frédéric Lordon spoke of the Yellow Vests, saying "If the Nuitdeboutistes who got all wound up into deforestation and anti-specist commissions can't get moving when this happens, then they are the last of the last".
Students protesting against the government's educational reforms
Angered by Macron's education reforms and plans to change the baccalauréat (a secondary-school leaving exam), students protested in cities across France. Students expressed concern that these reforms will lead to further inequalities of access to higher education between students in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas.
On 6 December, over 140 students were arrested outside a school in Mantes-la-Jolie. A video of the mass arrest—showing students kneeling with their hands behind their heads—inspired indignation.Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French Education Minister, said that although he was "shocked" by the scene, it needed to be viewed "in context".Amnesty International issued a report about the incident. On the same day, France Bleu reported that Saint-Étienne was "under siege". It was in this context that the mayor of Saint-Étienne suggested, first by tweet then by press release, that the Festival of Lights in neighbouring Lyon be cancelled to free up police in the region.
University students have reportedly joined the movement, denouncing the planned increase of tuition fees for foreign students from non-EU countries.
Christmas shopping season
Overall, by mid-December, trade losses of €2 billion had been reported as a result of the blocked roundabouts leading to commercial zones and the closures of urban chains. The chain supermarkets, in particular, reported that traffic had been down significantly, estimating the overall loss at around €600 million as of 13 December.
A terror attack on 11 December 2018 at the Strasbourg Christmas market contributed to heightened public security concerns and smaller demonstrations in Act V. Conspiracy theories began to be circulated on social media forthwith, suggesting that the attack, which had been perpetrated by a 29-year old man with multiple criminal convictions, was in fact a manufactured event.
Vinci SA, which operates roughly half of France's highway concessions, stated in its annual report to investors that traffic had dropped nine percent in the final three months of 2018 as a result of the protests. CEO Xavier Huillard said the fourth quarter loss "wiped out the increase in traffic of the first 10 months".
The riots have led to a declining number of tourists to Paris, with hotel owners reporting fewer bookings in the run up to the summer tourist season. Cancellations have risen as visitors are scared off from traveling to France for safety and security concerns, while corporate trips have also sought to avoid Paris, because the protests have turned the city into a liability. Overall, France reported the largest decreases in international tourist activity in Europe, compared to countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Germany.
A video of comedian Anne-Sophie Bajon, known as Labajon, in the role of Emmanuel Macron's lawyer wearing a yellow vest, has been seen several million times on social networks. Dancer Nadia Vadori-Gauthier improvised a choreography in the street during demonstrations with the fumes of the various gases and fires of cars. On 15 December 2018, on the sidelines of the demonstration on the Champs-Élysées, Deborah De Robertis organized a demonstration in which five women appear topless in front of the French police, with a costume reminiscent of the French Goddess of Liberty Marianne. A video of a performance by yellow vests protesters at a roundabout of Michel Fugain's 1975 hit song Les Gentils, Les Méchants ("The Good Ones, The Evil Ones") received over 800,000 views online. A restaurant in Nîmes created a yellow vests-inspired hamburger, served on a bright yellow bun, with a circular "roundabout" beef patty, onions from the vegetable plot of the Élysée Palace, "tear gas" pepper sauce, and "CRS sauce" made of cream, ricotta, and Saint Môret cheese (a reference to the French riot police, the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité).
Reactions and counter-protest
In late November 2018, polls showed that the movement had widespread support in France (ranging from 73 to 84 percent). An opinion poll conducted after 1 December events found that 73 percent of French people supported the gilets jaunes and that 85 percent were opposed to the violence in Paris.
Truckers were targeted by protesters, and the industry made their displeasure with the situation known to the government in an open letter. Two labor unions, CGT and FO who had initially called on truckers to start striking on 9 December, retracted their call on 7 December, after having consulted the government and their membership.
Although President Macron had been insisting that the fuel tax increases would go through as planned, on 4 December 2018 the government announced that the tax rises would be put on hold, with Prime Minister Édouard Philippe saying that "no tax deserves to endanger the unity of the nation".
In early December 2018, the prime minister announced that the price of the Électricité de France blue tariffs would not increase before March 2019.
On Sunday, 9 December, the Elysée called trade unions and employers' organizations to invite them to meet on Monday 10 December so Macron could "present the measures" he intended to announce later in the day. On 10 December, Macron condemned the violence but acknowledged the protesters' anger as "deep, and in many ways legitimate". He subsequently promised a minimum wage increase of €100 per month from 2019, cancelled a planned tax increase for low-income pensioners, and made overtime payments as well as end-of-year bonuses tax free. However, Macron refused to reinstate a wealth tax he scrapped upon entering into office. Amnesty International called on police to "end use of excessive force against protesters and high school children in France".
Police, unlike other public sector employees, either saw their wages raised by €120–150 per month by an agreement signed on 20 December, or received an annual €300 bonus by an amendment voted into law the previous day. Nicolas Chapuis, writing for Le Monde, says this was likely due to 85% turnout in recent police union elections and the exceptional levels of activity.
The 1 December riots in Paris were widely acknowledged to have been the most violent since May 1968. Paris-based journalist John Lichfield said that the 1968 events had a joyous side to them, largely absent from the yellow vest movement, but that both movements were similar in that they lacked recognized leaders, much as the banlieues riots of 2005 had.
According to French scholar Béatrice Giblin, comparisons between the gilets jaunes and the Bonnets Rouges—who opposed a new eco-tax in 2013—were inapt because the latter "had been taken in hand by real leaders, such as the mayor of Carhaix, or the great bosses of Brittany" whereas that was not the case for the yellow jackets.
On 27 January 2019 a counter-demonstration occurred in Paris by a group identifying themselves by the foulards rouges ("red scarves") they chose to wear. They put out a joint statement with other groups saying: "We denounce the insurrectional climate installed by the yellow vests. We also reject the threats and constant verbal abuse (aimed at non-yellow vests)".
Concerns about extremist elements in the movement
Concerns that the yellow vests movement were providing a new forum for extremist views were more frequently reported in the media after Alain Finkielkraut was insulted in week XIV. Vincent Duclert, an expert on anti-Semitism, said that while "the gilets jaunes are not an anti-Semitic movement, each Saturday there are anti-Semitic expressions by groups of the extreme right or extreme left." Jean-Yves Camus, expert in French political extremism, identified an "inherent weakness of a movement that lets the people speak" as being that anyone (whether far left, far right, radical Islamist or anti-Zionist) can say whatever they want in the street with little concern for propriety or legality.
Finkielkraut, interviewed by BFM-TV, was especially concerned with the viral nature of what he called a new type of "anti-racist" anti-Semitism (which he says consists of comparing the Israeli colonization of Palestine with Nazism). He named Dieudonné and Alain Soral as those responsible for propagating this new form of anti-Semitism.
Protests outside France adopting yellow vests as a symbol
The largest "yellow vest" protest outside France was held in Taipei with over 10,000 demonstrating on 19 December. Their principal concern was tax justice. Some protests in other countries are related to the central concerns of the French movement (taxation, high-living costs, representation, and income disparity). Others are related primarily by the use of the readily-available symbol.
Riot police in Brussels were pelted with billiard balls, cobblestones and rocks on 30 November, and responded with water cannons; 60 arrests were made for disturbing the public order. Several oil depots had been blocked in Wallonia as of 16 November 2018, though protesters' attempts to block the Russian Lukoil depot in Brussels were quickly thwarted by police. Some members of the movement began working to form a party for the Belgian federal elections in 2019 under the name Mouvement citoyen belge. On 8 December, when protesters calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Charles Michel tried to breach a riot barricade, police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators. The protesters involved were throwing stones, flares and other objects at police, resulting in around 100 arrests.
As of 12 January, three people had lost their lives during gilets jaunes actions in Belgium: two drivers were killed mid-December when they were surprised by traffic queues caused by roadblocks and one protester was fatally hit by a truck when his group tried to block the E25 highway between Liège and Maastricht on 11 January.
Other countries or regions
Australia: The Australian Yellow Vest Alliance, describing themselves as a "family-friendly social movement who wants a government run by the people, for the people" held a series of small, peaceful gatherings across the country, mostly advertised on social media, on 19 January 2019.
Bulgaria: Anti-government protesters in Bulgaria began wearing high-visibility vests from 16 November.
Canada: Beginning in late December, various yellow-vest wearing protest movements have been seen across the country. This protest movement, known as United We Roll, aims to pressure the federal government to support pipeline projects as well as the oil and gas industry. Protests have remained non-violent. Groups of various protesters wearing yellow vests have taken place in at least a dozen cities and towns across Canada as of January 2019. The movement in Canada is largely focused against the carbon tax, the endorsement of the United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), the federal Liberal government, and a wide range of topics. Although there have been counter-yellow-vest protests in parts of Canada, there have been no reports of police clashes or vandalism as of 20 January 2019.
Croatia: On 15 December 2018, "Yellow Vests Croatia" held demonstrations in Zagreb, Pula and Rijeka.
Egypt: A lawyer was detained for 15 days after posting a picture of himself wearing a high-visibility jacket in support of the protests in France. Sales restrictions on yellow reflective vests were introduced, causing backlash from human rights groups, who stated that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is attempting to suppress political opposition.
Finland: Anti-immigration protesters, who had begun demonstrations before the rise of the yellow vests movement, have adopted the yellow vest symbol, beginning with a demonstration on 17 December.
Iraq: On 5 December, yellow-vest-inspired protesters demonstrated in Basra, Iraq, for more job opportunities and better services. They were reportedly fired upon with live ammunition.
Ireland: In December 2018, hundreds attended yellow vests protests in the centre of Dublin against 'the perceived failures of the Government', spreading in January 2019 to Belfast, Galway, Limerick, Wicklow, Waterford and Donegal.
Italy: The yellow vests symbol has been used by multiple protest groups in Italy. In November 2018, a pro-Italian government, anti-EU protest group launched a Facebook page with thousands of online supporters, stating it was "inspired by the French gilet jaunes". On 15 December, several thousand people wearing yellow vests marched in Rome to protest against Italy's "tough new anti-migrant law". In January 2019, the leaders of Italy's ruling government coalition announced their support for the gilet jaunes protests in France. AFP reported that it is "extremely rare for European leaders to back anti-government protesters in a fellow member state".
Netherlands: On 1 December, a small number of yellow vest demonstrators protested in Dutch cities. Further demonstrations occurred on 8 December, where peaceful protesters marched through Rotterdam.
Pakistan: Hundreds of engineers staged a day long protest at Lahore wearing yellow vests.
Poland: On 12 December, a group of farmers blocked the A2 motorway 30 kilometers outside of Warsaw, demanding compensation for pigs they were required to slaughter, and protesting the importation of Ukrainian agricultural products unlabeled with respect to their country of origin. The agricultural minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski met with the protesters to explain that their demands were met already.
Portugal: On 21 December 2018, a coletes amarelos (yellow vest) rally was held under the slogan Vamos Parar Portugal ("Let's Bring Portugal to a Halt"). In spite of the 70% solidarity polled among the 10-million strong Portuguese public, less than one hundred demonstrators showed up for the rally, for which authorities had 20 thousand uniformed police officers prepared for.
Russia: On 23 December 2018, Blue Bucket demonstrators at Sokolniki Park wore yellow vests at a rally against parking fee increases in Moscow.
Serbia: A civil rights organisation Združena akcija Krov nad glavom started using yellow vests in its protests to oppose the eviction of a resident in the Mirijevo district of Belgrade and to show solidarity and common cause with French Yellow vest movement. Parallel to that, on 4 December, Boško Obradović, the leader of the far-right Dveri party, called for demonstrations about high fuel prices in Serbia on 8 December.
Spain: During the taxi driver strike of January in Madrid and Barcelona, many protesters used yellow vests.
Republic of China (Taiwan): The Tax and Legal Reform League, demonstrating for tax justice since December 2016, organized a yellow vests march on 19 December.
Tunisia: A derivative group, the gilets rouges ("red vests"), emerged on Facebook, calling for protests against the economic situation in the country.
United Kingdom: Right wing, pro-Brexit groups involved in small-scale protests in London and other UK cities have appropriated or "hijack[ed]" the yellow vests symbol.
United States: In Vermont, a group called "No Carbon Tax Vermont" held a rally at the Vermont Statehouse on January 9th, 2019.
Alain Finkielkraut is a French philosopher and public intellectual. He has written books and essays on a wide range of topics, many on the ideas of tradition and identitary nonviolence, including Jewish identity and antisemitism, French colonialism, the mission of the French education system in immigrant assimilation, and the Yugoslav Wars.
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Chantal Jouanno is a French politician. She was Minister of Sports in the third government of François Fillon from 14 November 2010 and 26 September 2011, succeeding to Roselyne Bachelot and being replaced by David Douillet, before taking office as senator on 1 October 2011. She had previously been Minister for Ecology in the second French Government of François Fillon from 21 January 2009 to 14 November 2010. She was a close ally of president Sarkozy and former president of ADEME.
Antisemitism in France has become heightened since the late 20th century and into the 21st century. In the early 21st century, most Jews in France, like most Muslims in France, are of North African origin. France has the largest population of Jews in the diaspora after the United States—an estimated 500,000–600,000 persons. Paris has the highest population, followed by Marseilles, which has 70,000 Jews, most of North African origin.
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La République En Marche!, sometimes called En Marche!, is a centrist, liberal and social-liberal political party in France. It was founded on 6 April 2016 by Emmanuel Macron, a former Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, who was later elected President of the French Republic in the 2017 election with 66.1% of the second-round vote. Macron considers La République En Marche! to be a progressive movement, uniting both the left and the right.
Christophe Castaner is a French lawyer and politician who has been serving as the Minister of the Interior since 16 October 2018 and as the Executive Officer of La République En Marche! since 2017. From 17 May 2017 to 16 October 2018, he was Secretary of State for Relations with Parliament under Prime Minister Édouard Philippe; until 24 November 2017 he served as Spokesperson of the Government. He was also spokesperson for Emmanuel Macron during his campaign for the presidential election of 2017.
The second Philippe government is the forty-first government of the Fifth Republic of France. It is the second government formed by Édouard Philippe under President Emmanuel Macron, following the 2017 legislative elections and the dissolution of the first Philippe government on 19 June 2017.
The 2019 European Parliament election in France will be held on 26 May 2019, electing members of the 9th French delegation to the European Parliament as part of the European elections held across the European Union. The election will feature two major changes since the 2014 election, with the abolition of regional constituencies and return to national lists in addition to the increase in the number of French seats from 74 to 79 which will take effect upon the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
Christophe Dettinger is a French boxer.
Priscillia Ludosky is one of the founders of the yellow vest movement. On 29 May 2018, she published an online petition about the need for "lower taxes on essential goods, the implementation of the citizens' initiative referendum, lower pensions and salaries of senior officials and elected officials". In September 2018, she sought more attention for the petition, eventually attracting national attention from Le Parisien.
Jacline Mouraud is a French activist credited as being one of the founders of the yellow vest movement. She rose to national attention as a result of a viral Facebook video she posted in October 2018 about France's proposed eco-tax to which she was opposed. Mouraud quickly found herself on regional and national television debating French MPs, representing the average person impacted by France's new fuel laws. Mouraud is a divisive figure in the movement, being criticized by other yellow vest activists including Priscilla Ludosky and Eric Drouet, and the French media who have accused her of sharing of "fake news".
Marine Charrette-Labadie was one of eight original spokespeople for the "yellow vests" movement. Her involvement predated the 17 November 2018 protests, when she served as a local organizer in Corrèze, New-Aquitaine in advance for Act I. Charrette-Labadie announced she was retiring from the movement at a national level on 28 November 2018 at a press conference in Brives. She was the sixth of the original eight spokespeople to announce their resignation. Charrette-Labadie continued to participate in the movement at the local level after withdrawing from the national movement.
Laëtitia Dewalle is a yellow vests activist. She has served as a media representative and local organizer in the Val-d'Oise, emerging in the movement in mid-November. She has been active in most of the Acts in the movement. In speaking to the media, she has been consistent in stating that they are biased, and that the movement is non-violent; she points out that violence in the protest marches are due to left and right wing extremists piggyback riding the movement.
Ingrid Levavasseur was one of the early participants of the yellow vest movement, and quickly emerged as one of its most visible spokespeople. She represented activists from the Eure department, making multiple appearances on various media networks including TF1 and LCI. After initially accepting and then rejecting a columnist position at BFMTV, she lost credibility with many in the movement. Maxime Nicolle would later call her out for being an opportunist in the movement.
Women have been involved in the yellow vests movement since its inception. This is a result of women on the whole being more affected by poverty in France than their male counterparts, in part because many are heads-of-household and need to take time off from paid employment to give birth to children. Their role is greater than most past social movements in France because of the economically precarious position that many women in the country find themselves in.
The following is a timeline of the yellow vests movement, a political movement against the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.
1 2 "In Pictures: Protesters march against Italy's tough new anti-migrant law". AFP via El Arabiya. 16 December 2018. Archived from the original on 8 January 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2019. Several thousand people marched in Rome Saturday in protest at Italy's tough new anti-migrant law, which makes it easier to expel new arrivals. The protesters waved flags and donned yellow vests emblazoned with the slogan 'Get up! Stand Up! for your right' in a reference to the famous Bob Marley song. The new law would 'only increase the number of people without papers in Italy and force people underground', protester Kone Brahima, originally from Ivory Coast, told AFP.
↑ Durand, Cédric (14 December 2018). "A Movement With a Future". Jacobin. Retrieved 18 February 2019. The second path is that of the Left and the social movements, a direction clearly developed in the critique of neoliberalism since the 1990s. Among the gilets jaunes, demands for social justice, wage increases, defense of public services, and hostility to the oligarchy have been fueled by several decades of criticism of globalized and financialized capitalism. The centrality of demands for the restoration of the wealth tax, and the circulation of videos of François Ruffin or Olivier Besancenot, testify to the strength of this left wing of the movement.
↑ Lara Marlowe (17 March 2019). "Gilets jaunes protests cause extensive damage on Champs-Élysées". The Irish Times. Retrieved 24 March 2019. The orgy of violence was carried out by a hard core of 1,500 hooligans wearing masks, black gloves and, in some cases, yellow vests. The most violent vandals are believed to be black bloc anarchists.
Rascouet, Angelina; Viscusi, Gregory (22 December 2018). "France's Yellow Vest Protests Abate as Fewer Take to Streets". www.bloomberg.com. Archived from the original on 29 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018. Protests led by the grassroots Yellow Vest movement abated across France on Saturday, a signal that a call to mobilize for a sixth straight weekend failed to maintain the momentum.
Viscusi, Gregory (10 December 2018). "Why People in Yellow Vests Are Blocking French Roads". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 29 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018. What started in November as a grassroots movement against plans to hike gas taxes has spiraled into widespread anger about the rising cost of living and discontent with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Petrequin, Samuel (16 December 2018). "Yellow vest protesters still block French traffic circles". AP News. Archived from the original on 29 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018. Yellow vest protesters occupied dozens of traffic roundabouts across France on Sunday even as their movement for economic justice appeared to be losing momentum on the fifth straight weekend of protests.
McKay, Hollie (16 December 2018). "France's 'yellow vest' protesters rage on for fifth weekend". Fox News. Archived from the original on 29 December 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2018. The movement, which is largely seen as a rallying cry for economic justice from France’s working class, takes its name from the yellow safety vests French motorists are mandated to keep in their vehicles.
↑ Nicolas. "Plus de 6000 radars vandalisés en 2018!". radars-auto.com (in French). Archived from the original on 31 January 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2019. Entre janvier et août 2018, 3 932 actes de vandalisme ont été enregistrés sur les radars automatiques.
↑ Rubin, Alissa J.; Sengupta, Somini (6 December 2018). "'Yellow Vest' Protests Shake France. Here's the Lesson for Climate Change". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018. There is little doubt among scientists and economists — many of whom are in Poland for the current round of climate negotiations — that putting a price on carbon is essential in the effort to reduce fossil fuel dependence. . . . [However many] analysts say the French tax was not politically deft, falling hardest on people outside French cities who were already feeling the pain of stagnating incomes and who do not have the same mass transportation options as urban residents.
1 2 Frédéric Lordon (5 December 2018). "Fin de monde?". La pompe à phynance (in French). Le Monde Diplomatique. Archived from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018. Depuis les grèves de 1995, la conscience de ce que les médias censément contre-pouvoirs sont des auxiliaires des pouvoirs, n’a cessé d’aller croissant.
↑ "Les lycéens contre la réforme du bac". La Nouvelle République (in French). 1 December 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2018. 'On demande une égalité entre les lycées ruraux et les grands lycées urbains. Ils ont des options qu’on ne peut pas avoir ici', explique Anthony, élève de terminale L, l’un des initiateurs de la mobilisation.
↑ Siraud, Mathilde (16 October 2018). "Castaner ministre de l'Intérieur, la consécration d'un fidèle de Macron". Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved 7 February 2019. ce fils de militaire, né à Ollioules (Var), a plaqué tôt famille et études pour traîner dans les milieux interlopes marseillais, où il attrape le virus des jeux d'argent et côtoie des caïds, période qu'il présente comme sa «part d'ombre».
1 2 Adam Gopnik (6 December 2018). "The Yellow Vests and Why There Are So Many Street Protests in France". the New Yorker. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2018. [T]he rhetoric of the movement, with its insistence that there is a globalized élite that, by manipulating finance and capital, are undoing French civilization, rhymes ominously with the classic forms of French right-wing nationalism, including indigenous French anti-Semitism.