Gilets jaunes stage ‘Act 21’ of protests

Benoit Tessier, AFP - protesters at a demonstration in Paris, April 6, 2019.

Hundreds gathered in Rouen, in Normandy, a past flashpoint, and hundreds more in eastern Paris at the Place de la République, the start of a march to the business district on the capital’s western edge.

The movement, demanding social and economic justice, has attracted dwindling crowds but still remains a challenge to President Emmanuel Macron.

In Paris, two marches were authorised by the police. One, was submitted by Sophie Tissier, a representative of the movement, and the other by Éric Drouet, a well-known figure within the group.

Protests in the provinces

In Rouen, a few hundred people gathered downtown mid-morning Saturday including some trade unionists. Protesters circled around an area barricaded by the police shouting, “Macron, get lost for good!”

There were clashes in Toulouse during the afternoon.

Protests also took place in Lyon, Dijon, Nice, Nantes, Montpellier, Bordeaux and Toulouse.

Fewer demonstrators

Fewer demonstrators turned out on Saturday France-wide according to the French Interior Ministry. While the numbers are dwindling on the streets, there were few reports of violence or clashes for the so-called “Act XXI” this weekend. The Gilets Jaunes are looking for new ways of being heard.

On the 21st weekend of anti-government protest about 22,300 gilets jaunes, against more than 33,000 the previous weekend took to the streets, with around 4,000 in Paris. The movement itself puts the figure at more than three times as high.

This Saturday’s figures amount to a tenth of the numbers at the peak of the street protest.

Source: FRANCE 24 with AP, RFI