“The Yellow Vests have decided to affect the economy directly,” Eric Drouet, leading voice of Yellow Vests, told RT France on June 22, during a toll operation at Chamant-Senlis (Oise) on the A1 motorway. At 17h, the operation brought together more than 300 people.
“It’s a turning point in the movement […] We have stopped demonstrations and marches in Paris. The Yellow Vests are focused on blockages and free tolls,” Drouet explained, adding that he had joined an initiative led by another group of activists.
“It’s a conclusion that all Yellow Vests have come to: it’s been six, seven months of marching in the streets, and at no time… was a Yellow Vest ever received for negotiations. The government has made no announcement in relation to all these demonstrations. It’s something that does not work,” he says.
Locally, the free toll operation in the Oise was a success. Especially since the authorities had trouble to end the action by the protesters.
Michaël Chevrier, sub-prefect of Clermont, left his office for the first time to address the group in the afternoon, asking the Yellow Vests to leave. After his first unsuccessful attempt, he made a second attempt a little later.
Shouted down by the demonstrators, the sub-prefect had to turn back, exfiltrated by the gendarmes under the cries of: “And even if Macron does not want it, we are here!”
— Clément Lanot (@ClementLanot) June 22, 2019
Finally the CRS was called in for reinforcement to dislodge the protesters. Present at Chamant Senlis, was Jerome Rodrigues, another leading figure. He told Sputnik journalists that “tolls [Free] have never stopped since November 17 [1 marking the act of mobilization ] “.
“It’s a good day […] A blockage is aimed at the CAC40 [the benchmark French stock market index], not the citizens. It’s blocking those who make wealth on our backs, those who enrich Mr. Macron,” he continued.
It is clear that the slogan calling for “block everything” on June 22 was followed. Many tolls had indeed suffered the same fate this weekend, as was seen in Heudebouville (Eure) on the A13 motorway.
Yellow Vests were also at the toll of Avignon North, some with a banner reading: “Stop the abuse and privileges of all the elected”.
In the early morning, some forty Yellow Vests, according to France Bleu, had made an appointment at the entrance to the seaport of Saint-Malo (Ille-et-Vilaine) to block motorists wishing to cross the Channel.
Many British visitors were therefore unable to embark and had to be directed to the ports of Caen-Ouistreham, Roscoff and Cherbourg. According to a Ouest-France journalist present on site, the gendarmes arrived around 11 am, 3 hours after the start of the blockage, to dislodge protesters. The traffic then quickly resumed.
In Toulouse, where a procession was parading as every Saturday, the images reported by the journalist of RT France that many stores were targeted, forcing them to close their doors. The Irish-based Primark’s cheap clothing store, located in Remusat Street, was blocked by protesters chanting “Primark, Macron, same fight”. Splashes of yellow paint were even seen on the shop window.
A few hundred meters away, in the rue d’Alsace Lorraine, the H&M store suffered the same fate.
The number of participants in the Saturday demonstrations were estimated to be 25 553 demonstrators in France, according to the accurate Yellow Number. They were only 11 800 according to the figures of the Ministry of the Interior, which had counted only 7 000 participants during the previous act.
In a statement posted on his Twitter account by Jerome Rodrigues called for “civil disobedience”.