Yellow vests movement
French social movement
The Yellow vests movement (French: Mouvement des gilets jaunes), also referred to as the yellow jacket movement, is a protest movement that started online in May 2018 and led to demonstrations that began in France on Saturday, 17 November 2018.
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- Protesters have largely come from peripheral towns, cities, and rural areas across France and include many women and single mothers. Most of the protesters have jobs, including as secretaries, IT workers, factory workers, delivery workers, and care workers. All say their low incomes mean they cannot make ends meet at the end of the month. The movement is predominantly against a tax system perceived as unfair and unjust, but there are numerous grievances and differences of opinion. Most want to scrap the fuel taxes, hold a review of the tax system, raise the minimum wage, and roll back Macron's tax cuts for the wealthy and his pro-business economic program.
- Who are the gilets jaunes and what do they want? The Guardian (7 December 2018)
- From all corners of the country, French protesters— the vast majority of them men—came by the thousands in trains, buses and cars. But once together in the capital, the most concrete thing they shared was simply fury.
Fury at President Emmanuel Macron. At taxes. At jobs that don't pay the bills. At politicians they accuse of stuffing their own pockets. At the elite. At banks. At 'the system.'
- John Leicester in Paris under siege: Tear gas, fury on the Champs-Elysees, The Associated Press (8 December 2018)]
- In France, there is something special in the air: the smell of fires on barricades, the smoke of tear gas, the anger built upon decades of inequality, injustice and despair for most. Among the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow vests movement), many understand intuitively that the current democratic process is dead, and therefore the only option is the occupation of streets and roads.
The Gilets Jaunes movement is strictly horizontal, without a hierarchy or recognized leaders. It has, so far, refused to be hijacked by political parties... the Gilets Jaunes do not have an anti-immigration or even an anti-EU agenda that reeks of racism and neofascism... The Gilets Jaunes are in revolt against capitalism or neoliberalism... a worldwide system of concentration of wealth and power into a few hands.
- Gilbert Mercier in Are the Gilets Jaunes Today’s Sans-Culottes? Global Research Canada (9 December 2018)