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Maxime Nicolle. Wikipedia

Yellow Vest leader files complaint against death threats

Maxime Nicolle, a leading figure of the Yellow Vest citizen movement, is said to have become a victim of "moral harassment" and "public defamation" on social networks.

Published: August 19, 2019, 12:12 pm

    Nicknamed Fly Rider, the well-known personality, a leading figure of the movement of Yellow Vests, Nicolle is now paying the price for his celebrity. He has been targeted by comments of anonymous Internet users.

    FranceInfo reported that Fly Rider has announced on Facebook that he had filed a complaint for “death threats”.

    When contacted, his lawyer, Juan Branco, confirmed the filing of this complaint on Thursday, August 15 at the gendarmerie of Dinan, in Côtes-d’Armor. “After having fun behind their screens, their nicknames and networks, some will now have to answer for their threats,” wrote Maxime Nicolle in a Facebook post with a photo of his receipt of complaint.

    More specifically, the complaint was filed for a “death threat done in writing, image or other object”, “threat of committing a crime”, “moral harassment”, “public defamation” and “threat of conditional death”.

    Maxime Nicolle said he has proof of “hours of videos, messages, mails, comments” at his disposal. The public prosecutor will decide on the follow-up to be given to this complaint, which is from February 1 to August 15.

    Nicolle lives in Lehon, in the Côtes-d’Armor, with his partner and their eight-year-old daughter. Holder of a CAP inaircraft maintenance, he was unemployed in early 2019. He usually works as a temporary driver.

    On social networks he uses the pseudonym Fly Rider he chose in reference to his passions for aeronautics and motorcycles. At the age of eighteen, he enlisted in the army before being discharged.

    He played an important role in launching the protest movement via the videos he broadcasts on social networks. The Facebook group “Fly Rider Info Blocage” gathered more than 174 000 subscribers at the beginning of December 2018. He regularly shares his videos with Éric Drouet and conducts coordinated actions with Priscillia Ludosky, two other leading figures of the movement.

    On November 26, 2018, he was in fact one of eight spokespersons named to represent the movement of the Yellow Vests. In 2015 already, Nicolle introduced himself as a sympathizer of Marine Le Pen’s National Front.

    In July 2019, he participated with Yellow Vests in Beaumont-sur-Oise, where he spoke at the end of the demonstration to report on police brutality.

    During the signing of the Migration Compact of Marrakech, he said President Emmanuel Macron would “sell France to the UN and accept the arrival of 480 million immigrants in Europe”. He defended the statement, declaring: “The conspiracy, for me, are people who tell lies. What I’m saying has been seen and filmed.”

    He admits that he does not trust the mainstream media. French media outlet FranceInfo nevertheless blamed Nicolle for spreading “fake news” about Marrakesh as one of the “most fanciful stories which circulates persistently in the groups on Facebook of Yellow Vests”.

    In a video broadcast in February 2019, he attacked the Freemasons whom he accuses of plotting, adding that Emmanuel Macron is a pawn used by “the lobbies, and all the friends he has in Freemasonry” . This speech is particularly popular among a majority of Yellow Vests.

    When Macron wanted to include anti-Zionism in the official definition of anti-Semitism, Nicolle, used his favorite means of communication, Facebook, to make his thoughts heard on the issue.

    “It’s Zionism that’s racist, not anti-Zionism,” he said in a Facebook Live broadcast on Thursday, February 21. “It’s racist, it’s even worse than that, because when you’re look into it, it’s really disgusting.”

    He said that the Yellow Vests were being made victims in an “attempt to pass the movement for anti-Jew”. For him, this attempt actually “hurts” families of victims of the Holocaust.

    During the Bastille celebrations of July 14, 2019, Nicolle was placed in custody together with Jérome Rodrigues for “organising an illegal demonstration” at the start of the military parade, near the Champs-Elysées.

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