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Yellow Vests announce summer: Free tolls, beach operation, Tour de France

The large urban mobilisations by the Yellow Vests have been replaced by multiple targeted and local operations. For Act XXXIV, some of them adapted their mode of action to the season.

Published: July 7, 2019, 11:26 am

    Paris, Toulouse and Nantes, and several other cities hosted smaller gatherings of Yellow Vests, bringing together a few thousand participants in France. In addition to these urban demonstrations – which have now become more modest in numbers – Yellow Vests organised more original local actions throughout France, and sometimes even beyond its borders on July 6.

    Particularly popular since the beginning of the movement, “toll free” operations were organised at several toll stations on Saturday. “Barriers open, it’s departure for vacation”, explained one participant of the action conducted in the early morning near Chignin (Savoie), in a post on Facebook.

    In Calvados, an operation involving a few dozen Yellow Vests at the Dozulé toll booth, not far from Caen, provoked the intervention of the police in the early morning, according to a video posted on social networks.

    North of the city of Annecy (Haute-Savoie), other protesters took over the toll booth of Allonzier-la-Caille, according to a post by the Yellow movement on Twitter.

    As reported by Le Progrès, some 70 Yellow Vests carried out a barrier operation at Limas (Rhone) on the night of July 6 to 7, before being evacuated at about midnight by the police.

    In the department of Herault, fifty Yellow Vests were mobilised on the beach of Carnon, near Montpellier, to educate holidaymakers about their claims. The participants made contact with the beach attendants during a distribution of leaflets and a collection of waste, as shown by a report from French state broadcaster France 3.

    While the Ministry of the Interior estimated the number at 6 000 participants, the Yellow Number counted nearly 10 000 protesters.

    In Toulouse, the muscled arrest of a Yellow Vest by the police forces provoked the indignation of the demonstrators. People shouted at the female police officers to stop their violence and commented that it was only done to humiliate the protester.

    In Nantes, where Steeve Caniço had disappeared, Yellow protesters demanded justice against the police. In Bordeaux, in front of a police station, protesters also demanded a response after the disappearance of Caniço, who disappeared during the festival of music in Nantes. The latter fell into the Loire river after an intervention by the police.

    In Paris, a demonstrator brandished a banner to protest against police violence. “A law against spanking, nothing against the LBD [Launcher Defense Ball] … The Lacrymo [tear gas] elected perfume of the year by the LREM”

    Travel costs, risks related to situations that degenerate, police violence, physical fatigue, ignored claims, and departures on vacation have all been cited as reasons for the decreased number of participants in the ongoing protests. Yellow Vest urban events have obviously suffered from the accumulation of such factors unfavorable to mobilisation.

    But the Yellow Vests seem to be testing alternatives to perpetuate their struggle.

    In Belgium, Yellow Vests took advantage of the start of the Tour de France to unfold a banner at a bridge in Brussels overlooking a crossing point of the first stage cyclists. “And the people pedal in misery,” the banner of several meters long announced.

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