The 30th Weekend of Yellow Vest Demonstrations
Yellow vest protesters become French President Emmanuel Macron's biggest challenge
The vests themselves tell the story of the movement that has gripped France for more than six months, at one point becoming the biggest challenge to President Emmanuel Macron.
Protester Gilles Sabatier launched a newsletter collecting images of the slogans and illustrations on the backs of the high-visibility vests.
“It’s a terrific idea to put expressions as well on the vest, meaning each person, each yellow vest (protester), puts what he feels and it’s always very very personal, and full of creativity, and always rooted in the struggle,” he said.
But participation has been waning in past weeks, a far cry from the close to the 300,000 that first blocked roads in Nov. 2018, in what began as an outcry against fuel tax hikes.
A total of 10,300 protesters took to the streets nationwide on Saturday, according the French interior ministry.
“I am pushing on (with protesting), so that salaries, the minimum wage can be increased to 1,500 euros net, because once we’re done paying rent, electricity and all the rest — there’s not much remaining for food, for leisure, for holidays. We can’t even go on holiday. For me, it’s been five years that I haven’t taken holidays,” humanitarian volunteer Julien Paris said.
French police have also come under scrutiny from rights groups over the use of heavy duty crowd control weapons including “flash ball” riot guns that fire rubber ball-shaped projectiles.