Yellow vests movement

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Event.png Yellow vests movement (protest,  populism) Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Yellow vests movement.jpg
Date17 November 2018 - Present
DescriptionA series of mass demonstrations in France expression dissatisfaction with the political process. Subject to increasingly violent repression.

The Yellow vests movement (gilets janues) was a grassroots political and economic justice movement in France. It started in 2018 and in 2019 was subject to increasingly violent repression by the French state authorities.[1][2][3]


After an online petition posted in May had attracted nearly a million signatures, mass demonstrations began on 17 November. The movement was initially motivated by rising fuel prices and a high cost of living; it claims that a disproportionate burden of the government's tax reforms were falling on the working and middle classes, especially in rural areas. The protesters have called for lower fuel taxes, a reintroduction of the solidarity tax on wealth, a minimum-wage increase, the implementation of Citizens' initiative referendums, among other things. On 29 November 2018, a list of 42 demands was made public and went viral on social media, becoming de facto a structuring basis for the movement, covering a wide range of eclectic topics, mostly related to democracy, social and fiscal justice.[4]


Prison sentences for using Facebook

Hedi Martin, an organiser, was sentenced to six months' imprisonment after publishing an event on Facebook.[5]

Police violence

At the end of 2019 315 protestors had been injured in the head due to the police force using grenade launchers [6][7] and aiming deliberately too high in some cases,[citation needed] while other accounts blame insufficient training.[8] Leaving some people with fractured skulls, 25 lost an eye, five lost a hand and one woman died of injuries caused by a grenade.[9]

On 1 December 2018, an 80 year old, Zineb Redouane, was killed by a tear gas grenade.[10][11] Olivier Beziade was shot in the back of the head by French police in January 2019.[12] By January 2019, around 2000 unarmed demonstrators had been seriously injured, including lost eyes and hands. Around 3000 had been lightly injured.[13]

Grenade launcher / Tear gas

12122 LBD rounds (from the LBD 40 grenade launcher),[14][15] 1428 instant tear gas grenades and 4942 hand-held sting grenades were fired or thrown between the beginning of the yellow vest movement and 4th February 2019.[16] A third of the eye injuries caused by police weapons in France in the last 20 years have happened during yellow vest protests.[17]

Permission to "open fire"

In March 2019, Bruno Leray explicitly allowed the French police "open fire" if they deemed that lives were threatened by Yellow Vest.[18]

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