« Yellow vests »: mobilization slightly higher before Macron’s announcements
A few days before the announcement of Emmanuel Macron out of the crisis, several thousand « yellow vests » demonstrated Saturday for the act 22 of the movement, including Paris and Toulouse.
The rallies gathered a total of 31,000 people in France, including 5,000 in Paris, according to a count of the Ministry of the Interior. Figures above the 22,300 recorded the previous Saturday, the lowest participation since the beginning of the movement four months ago.
On their side, the « yellow vests », who dispute the official figures, estimate the number of participants to « 80.504 », according to the Facebook page of counting, and evoke « a small revival of mobilization » before the « exceptional » date of 20 April.
Even before the declarations of the President of the Republic, some gave the general mood in the processions: « The big debate, big blah blah, » « Macron we expect nothing from your ads », could we read on the signs of the small Parisian procession.
The pressure is considerable on the head of state, who must avoid the road exit of a quinquennium heckled by this crisis that has lasted for almost five months. He will be on the front line again after a week when Prime Minister Edouard Philippe « heated the room » by promising a « powerful and concrete » presidential response.
Overall, the demonstrations were peaceful. In Paris, the police made 27 arrests and 9,473 preventive controls, said the prefecture.
They were a thousand in Lille to take an alternative route because of the prohibition to demonstrate in the city center. « To live in France costs an arm, to complain about it costs an eye », could one read on placards. « Frexit », was it also written on the back of several « yellow vests ».
« The first demand is the purchasing power, my two children are working and yet they are struggling, » says Cathy Sonntag, Guebwiller’s coming to Strasbourg. This former maternal assistant and housekeeper manifested for the first time with the « yellow vests ».
Many protesters are already talking about next week’s event, announced as ultimatum 2.
« The threat seems stronger for April 20, » lamented late this week Christophe Castaner, the Minister of the Interior, referring to « calls that invite almost to destroy Paris ».