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Gilets Jaunes: protests continued Sunday

LanguedocLiving, Nov 18

The Gillets Jaunes (yellow vests) groups were out in force at the weekend. On Saturday there were fuel protests at over 2,000 blockade sites across the country.

One woman died, a 63 year old Savoie resident, when a car driver ran over her in a panic. The driver was taking her child to the hospital, and the protest group started beating on her car. She panicked and knocked a protester down who died from her injuries.  The driver was later taken into police custody in shock.

Over 400 injuries were reported, with 117 arrests according to figures released by the ministry of the Interior. Tear gas was used to break up a blockade near the Élysée Palace in Paris.

Some protesters camped overnight, and continued with the blockades on Sunday.

Gaëtan, one of the organisers of a protest Facebook page based in the Haute-Garonne, said: “There is a strong change that the movement will continue. Blocking roads for just one day is ridiculous, if we want to be heard by the government, we have to keep going.”

President Macron has blamed the rising fuel costs in France on the global price of crude oil, and accused protesters of derailing his reform plans - although earlier last week he did concede that he had “not managed to reconcile the people with their leaders”.

"So far as ecological taxation is concerned, we'll carry on as planned," Environment Minister François de Rugy said. "Not to do so would be irresponsible."

[Ironically, what the protesters achieved, as well as high profile publicity, was a general increase in fuel usage as people either waited in long lines across the country with their engines running, or drivers took a long way round to their destinations. Where’s the sanity in that, who are the protesters hurting the most? Ed]

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