Yellow Vests Mobilized by Elderly Protester’s Injury on 20th Week of Rallies in France
A 73-year-old anti-globalization activists injured in clashes with riot police in Nice has become a symbol for the continuing protests.
Yellow Vest demonstrators rallied across France on Saturday for their 20th week of protests since the movement began in November 2018, refusing to let the impetus of their demonstrations subside.
Saturday’s Yellow Vest protests in France demonstrated solidarity with a 73-year-old anti-globalization activist Genevieve Legay who was injured during last week’s protests in Nice during clashes with the police.
Legay suffered a head injury after a police officer pushed her down, according to a Nice prosecutor, as cited by France 24.
Protesters waved a rainbow flag that read “Peace” like the flag carried by Legay last week.
“We are all Genevieve!” proclaimed an online appeal for the 20th week of Yellow Vest protests, which first started over planned hikes of fuel taxes but swiftly grew to encompass a wider range of economic and social grievances mixed with aversion to French President Emmanuel Macron seen as a figure from the financial elite.
The case of Genevieve Legay is widely seen by the Yellow Vests as symbolizing what they deem to be the French government’s contempt for them and their grievances.
Indignation has grown after Macron told a newspaper that the elderly woman should have had the “wisdom” to stay away from the protest rally in Nice.
Several thousand Yellow Vests marched peacefully in Paris on Saturday beginning north of the downtown and reaching the Trocadero plaza near the Eiffel Tower.
The protesters were banned from the Champs-Elysees avenue which saw large-scale violence and vandalism by black bloc anarchists during past Yellow Vest rallies.
The French police said 32 people were arrested on Satuday, and 21 were fined for taking part in an unauthorized protest.
Some cities in Southern France saw clashes between the protesters and the riot police. In Avignon, the demonstrators were pushed out of the medieval center of the city.
In Bordeaux, a group of protesters set on fire construction debris and tried to break through security barriers leading the police to employ tear gas to stop them.
At the beginning of April, the French government is expected to unveil a new set of measures that are supposed to address the grievances of the Yellow Vest movement coined as a result of the “great debate” launched by Macron to give ordinary French people a tribune to voice their discount, an initiative completed two weeks ago.
(Banner image: TV grab from France24)