Home news What to remember from Act 19 of the mobilization

What to remember from Act 19 of the mobilization

"Yellow vests" blocked by police in front of Nice train station, March 23, 2019. – LIONEL URMAN / SIPA

A relative calm in Paris and a slight increase in mobilization throughout the country. One week after the rampage on the Champs-Elysées and
 the firmness measures announced by the Government, Act 19 of
yellow vests "was marked by tensions in the region and a parade in the calm in Paris, 20 minutes take stock of what needs to be learned from this new day of mobilization.

A battle of numbers

According to the Ministry of the Interior, 40,500 people, including 5,000 in Paris, demonstrated this Saturday. This is slightly better than the previous Saturday when the place Beauvau had counted 32,000 demonstrators throughout the country, including 10,000 in Paris during the act 18. But it is far from the record of the "yellow vests with their own way of counting: according to them, 127.212 demonstrators were shown all over the country.

Demonstration in calm in Paris

In Paris, the Champs-Elysees were denied access to protesters after the sackings last week. Discouraged by an imposing police grid on the Champs-Elysees, lined with blue vans, the "yellow vests" preferred to parade in the quiet between the Denfert-Rochereau square (south) and the basilica of the Sacred Heart (north), where a Yellow streamer was deployed on the dome.

The situation became tense at the end of the afternoon when part of the procession resumed the direction of the center of the capital. Protesters burned garbage cans and vandalized a storefront before being dispersed with tear gas.

A short distance away, Place de la République, a policeman from an intervention company suffered a heart attack and was taken to the hospital, in a "very serious state" according to the prefecture.

Clashes in the provinces

The scenes of violence last week did not take place, but the situation was much more tense in the region, AFP journalists said.

In Montpellier, which had not been subject to restrictions to demonstrate, clashes erupted and continued until the evening after the departure of a procession gathering 4,500 people according to the prefecture.

The security forces summoned and then fired heavy teargas grenades, while protesters threw them cans and bottles of beer. 20 people were arrested.

Tensions were also palpable in several cities where demonstrations had been banned in iconic and traditional places of gathering 'yellow vests'.

In Nice, clashes erupted in the afternoon when a few hundred protesters tried to enter the perimeter prohibited gatherings, triggering fired tear gas.

A total of 80 people were arrested in the city where Chinese and French presidents are expected Sunday and Monday.

In Bordeaux, stronghold of the movement, tensions were felt in the city center, also banned from the event, with the arrival of activists "black blocks" in the middle of the afternoon.

In La Rochelle, the police used tear gas against demonstrators who threw projectiles at the edge of the old port, which was not accessible.

In Nantes, the demonstration was also tense when the gendarmes wanted to back down the demonstrators who refused to obey.

In Toulouse, with the song of "we are there even if Macron does not want it", a few thousand "yellow vests" demonstrated in the early afternoon in the city center, trying a brief incursion on the Capitol Square which was forbidden to the demonstrators.

Self-satisfaction of Christophe Castaner

"Today, the republican order has been maintained," welcomed the Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, in the hot seat since an act 18 marked by a sharp upsurge of violence. After leading a purge this week at the head of the police headquarters, the executive promised "firmness" and announced
the "reinforcement" of soldiers, causing an uproar.

"Our instructions of firmness have been respected," said Christophe Castaner in the evening, during a statement on the Place Beauvau. indicating that 233 people had been arrested in France, 172 of whom were detained.

Across the country, 65,000 police and gendarmes were mobilized, as well as 30,000 firefighters. In Paris, "8,545 preventive controls were carried out," said the minister. According to the Prefecture of Police, 96 people were arrested and 53 verbatim.

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