The most uncomfortable truth about the yellow vests protests is that Macron can never offer what they actually want

To the demands of the gilets jaunes for participation in decision-making and greater control over their own lives, Macron has no response except declarations of vague intentions for ‘consultations’

Aurelie Dianara
Paris, France
The Independent Voices

The next few days will be crucial for the gilets jaunes (yellow vests), the French protest movement who have been taking to the streets in opposition to President Macron’s policies – namely increasing fuel prices and the high cost of living. The protesters find themselves at a crossroads. Will the movement continue to grow? Or will it capitulate in the face of the government’s persistent intimidation and false concessions? The answer remains to be seen. For now, however, the gilets jaunes seem quite determined to keep up the fight.

Last Saturday was a decisive day for the movement. After three weeks of roadblocks on intersections and roundabouts, “snail operations” to slow traffic, direct action to defy motorway tolls, pickets of petrol stations, shopping malls, ports and logistics hubs, and huge mobilisations in Paris and other large cities every weekend, the movement demonstrated sizeable strength as 135,000 people took to the streets for a fourth day of protests.


A protestor waves a French flag during a demonstration of yellow vests (gilets jaunes) against rising costs of living they blame on high taxes in Toulouse, southern France, on December 8, 2018. – The “yellow vest” movement in France originally started as a protest about planned fuel hikes but has morphed into a mass protest against President’s policies and top-down style of governing. (Photo by REMY GABALDA / AFP)

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