18 weeks of Gilets Jaunes protests in France: ‘The levels of repression are unimaginable’

Gilets Jaunes face tear gas in Paris
Support us and go ad-free

This weekend marks four months since France’s Gilets Jaunes protests began. People are marching in cities throughout France in their thousands. In Paris, reporters have stated that it’s the biggest turnout since it all began in November 2018.

The scenes coming from the capital city have been intense. It’s not just a demonstration: it’s an insurrection. A lot has been written about the French police’s use of weaponry, and this latest uprising is no different. Videos show the police firing water cannon, while tear gassing and pepper spraying crowds.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Footage shows the police battering people with truncheons and indiscriminately punching whoever gets in their way.

Protester and author Paul Cudenec has been out on the streets since the Gilets Jaunes protests began. He told The Canary:

The police have not changed their tactics at all. They are still mutilating people with grenades and rubber bullets, and firing massive quantities of tear gas. A police whistle blower revealed that they have been ordered from above, by the state, to use violence against the movement. They know they can act with total impunity – and it shows!

Cudenec continued:

The atmosphere on the streets remains, from what I have experienced, up-beat and determined. The numbers are still high and the constant propaganda from mainstream media saying the protests are getting smaller is wearing very thin! The official count of demonstrators is also being widely challenged. People set up fixed cameras in Paris to assess the crowds and on 23 February they recorded 22,000 people on the protest there. Police estimated 4,000 to 5,000!

Paris is on fire

The people revolting on the streets don’t appear scared of the police. If anything, the excessive use of violence seems to be making them more determined. A bank – one of the most obvious symbols of capitalism – was in flames. Fouquet’s restaurant – frequented by the super-rich – was also set on fire. Shops like Hugo Boss have had their windows smashed in. And protesters have been throwing paving stones at the police, forcing police cars forced to retreat.

Meanwhile, as people on the streets demand that Macron resigns, the French president poses for photos on a skiing trip. Macron’s smile might be short-lived, though, because the Gilets Jaunes appear to be going nowhere.

Featured image via RT France/YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

Get involved

  • Read about the Gilets Jaunes, what their motives are and what they’re demanding.

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us