Skip to Content

EU Parliament. Photo supplied

Act XXIV: International call by Yellow Vests to march on EU institutions

Two days after the announcements by French President Emmanuel Macron in response to the social crisis, the Yellow Vests on Saturday aimed at remobilizing across the country.

Published: April 29, 2019, 8:29 am

    Read more

    All eyes were turned on Strasbourg, where several hundred protesters converged quietly at midday towards the Place de l’Etoile, not far from the city center. The organisers of this “national and international event” hoped to attract protesters from Germany and Belgium to the city which is the seat of the European Parliament.

    A German flag was in fact spotted among the French flags, French daily Le Figaro reported. Protesters were flanked by dozens of police vehicles deployed to protect the neighboring municipal buildings.

    The Bas-Rhin prefecture had banned all demonstrations in certain areas of the historic center of the city, on the square of the station as well as around the European institutions – the European Parliament but also the European Court of Human Rights and Council of Europe.

    On Saturday, April 20, some 28 000 Yellow Vest protesters marched throughout France, according to the Ministry of the Interior, but it was actually 100 000 according to their own count.

    The scale of this new mobilization has authorities worried. On Friday, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner lamented that reactions to the announcements by Emmanuel Macron were “already written” before the intervention of the Head of State. “Anyway, I’m not sure of (their) demands, because I do not know any more, if they had even waited for any answer,” added the minister.

    The last Yellow Vests were dispersed on Saturday in Strasbourg in the early evening after clashes with police, an event marked by 42 arrests, “numerous degradations” and seven reported injuries, according to the prefecture of Bas-Rhin.

    At the Place de l’Etoile, not far from the center, the procession of 2 000 demonstrators (according to the prefecture) tried until the middle of the afternoon, without success, to reach European institutions.

    The security forces barred the roads, continuously firing tear gas grenades, while a helicopter of the gendarmerie was tirelessly circling the sky.

    According to the prefecture, “many degradations have been noted (deteriorated and burned items of street furniture, theft of construction equipment, etc.)” during the day. One car was burned, according to the same source.

    Around 15:00, the gendarmes, after several summons, prevented the procession, blocked off the north of the city, leading to the European Parliament. There was no direct contact between mobile gendarmes, CRS and protesters, some AFP journalists reported.

    An hour later, a series of skirmishes broke out again as demonstrators, some dressed in black and masked, came within just tens of meters from the Council of Europe, an institution that brings together 47 countries.

    But here again, the police managed to repel Yellow Vests. Some trash fires were lit too. “Lachrymatory fire and dispersal maneuvers were necessary to put an end to these confrontations,” confirmed the Bas-Rhin prefecture in a statement.

    In the early evening, the prefecture counted seven wounded, including three police officers, three protesters and a local resident.

    The Yellow Vests on social media networks had launched an “international” call to protest in the direction of the European Parliament, one month away from the European elections.

    On the periphery highway of Lyon a slow-go was held, in Paris a “march on the media” and in Cambrai (North) a night march. In Toulouse, demonstrations were banned on the Capitol Square from 10:00 to 21:00 but a call for “Yellow Vests in the center” was nevertheless launched for the early afternoon.

    In Lille, Rennes or Rouen, demonstrations are also prohibited in the center. In Paris, the prohibited perimeter included the Champs-Elysées, the Elysée, the approaches to the National Assembly and Notre-Dame.

    Protesters already seriously injured by the police, a majority of whom were scarred during the rallies of the movement, announced on Sunday, April 28, that they would be forming a collective, calling for a large national demonstration to Paris, on May 26.

    They have become the symbol of a repressive, violent administration with regard to its opponents. “The mutilated for example” will form a collective reported Le Parisien. “We decided to form a collective, ‘mutilated for example’,” said Robin Pagès at a press conference. He has been handicapped since a serious foot injury in 2017 in Bure, in the Meuse.

    If the Yellow Vests count on May 1 to boost to the movement, the police fear, in parallel, a massive action by the black block.

    In the ranks of law enforcement, they are preparing for the big coming rally. After the measures set out last Thursday night by Emmanuel Macron, which have apparently not appeased the wrath of the demonstrators, the intelligence services remain on high alert.

    The Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, denounced a “ritual of violence” at the rallies. “It involves questioning the President of the Republic, systematically. Their only desire is to bring down our institutions,” he said indignantly.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    The emergence of Europe’s ‘big four’

    BrusselsIt's Europe's "big four" - new axis between four major countries of the European Union,  trying to take the place of the Franco-German axis, which has been in crisis due to the continuous divergences between Paris and Berlin.

    Salvini faces up to 15 years in prison for stopping illegal immigration

    RomeDuring his year at the head of the Italian Ministry of the Interior, Matteo Salvini never stopped fighting illegal immigration. The boss of the League in Italy is accused of kidnapping because he blocked a boat of illegal migrants off the coast of Sicily when he was Minister of the Interior.

    AfD files criminal charges against Merkel for coercion

    BerlinIn the case of the Thuringian Prime Minister Thomas Kemmerich (FDP), who was forced to resign, the AfD has announced that it will report Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) for coercion.

    Dutch parties demand that FvD be excluded from coalition

    The HagueDutch party leaders have urged the VVD in the province of Brabant to rule out a coalition with the Forum voor Democratie after the province’s government collapsed. The VVD, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, is a liberal political party in the Netherlands.

    Migrants mass at Hungary’s border to test Orban’s resolve

    A group of hundreds of migrants that recently set off for Hungary from Serbia has reached Hungary’s southern border at Tompa, Hungarian public television’s current affairs channel M1 reported on Thursday.

    Merkel suspends German parliamentary democracy from Pretoria

    BerlinGerman FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich resigned shortly after his election on February 5 as Thuringian state prime minister, because he was unable to withstand the pressure for just one day - a pressure which many AfD members have been exposed to for years.

    European Parliament declares war on national flags

    StrasbourgFor several weeks, the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has asked for the withdrawal of the small flags from the hemicycle. His request has deeply irritated the Identity and Democracy group.

    Half of Amsterdam women are intimidated on the street says mayor

    AmsterdamThe Amsterdam city leadership is greatly concerned about the safety of girls and women in Amsterdam. But the mayor does not want the real perpetrators to be blamed.

    Italy: Sardine star has ties with Soros network

    RomeShe was a volunteer in Obama's campaigns. Now Elly Schlein is on the list of politicians welcomed by the Open Society Foundation.

    Left party accuses AfD of harboring ‘conspiracy narratives’ on family policy

    DresdenIn Germany, the Left Party in the Saxon state parliament has accused the AfD of deliberately using conspiracy narratives.

    Go to archive