AWSM Note: This article originally appeared in Russian
On November 17, 2020, the “yellow vest” social protest movement in France celebrated its two-year anniversary. Despite total bans, “quarantine” terror and massive police repression, demonstrators took to the streets again. Their speeches were joined with protests against new repressive and anti-social laws.
Several demonstrations were scheduled for 17 November in Paris. They were to head to the National Assembly to protest against the drafting of new anti-social laws and to mark the second anniversary of the yellow vest movement. At 9.30 a.m., the striking garbage men gathered at the town hall: they oppose the law on the status of civil servants. At 14.45 “yellow vests” met on Montparnasse to celebrate their second anniversary. At 3 p.m., the Sorbonne began gathering, a protest against the law on research programming. At 3:30 p.m., opponents of the Olympic Games gathered outside St. Wan’s town hall. The demonstrators intended to come to the National Assembly at 6 p.m. to protest against the new draft law on global security(https://actu.fr/ile-de-france/paris_75056/loi-securite-loi-recherche-gil…)
The garbage men, joined by activists of “yellow vests”, after the demonstration near the city hall went to the building of the Directorate of Property on the avenue of France. They scattered thousands of leaflets, blocked the street and set fire to garbage containers and wooden pallets. Workers who have declared an indefinite strike are indignant at the change of their position as civil servants(https://actu.fr/ile-de-france/paris_75056/videos-manifestation-de-gilets…). The building was briefly occupied by the strikers(https://www.revolutionpermanente.fr/Eboueurs-et-egoutiers-en-greve-illim…).
After 6 p.m., the participants of all demonstrations converged on the building of the National Assembly. The situation initially remained calm. “Yellow vests,” human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, students gathered in Herrio Square… The law, which was protested by the assembled, provides, among other things, a ban on the dissemination of images of police officers. The League for Human Rights and the Organization of Journalists strongly objected, believing that the actual purpose of the measure was not to allow police brutality and repression to be filmed. Objections are also the provisions of the bill, which legalize the use of drones by the authorities and the ubiquitous deployment of police security cameras.
A rally boiled in the square. Speakers criticized the bill and all the policies of those in power in the area of so-called “security”. While the speeches were being made, tensions were rising between the radicalized part of the protesters and the police. Shortly before 7 p.m., firecrackers and fireworks were already flying from the protesters, and the forces of the capitalist order threw tear gas bombs. The CRS police special forces arrived and a cordon was put up around the parliament building, and hundreds of demonstrators gathered regrouped. Boulevard Saint-Germain turned into a scene of street battles.
At 7:30 p.m., when the protesters intended to march unsanctioned march towards Boulevard Saint-Germain, CRS blocked the path of thousands of demonstrators using gas. Shortly before 8 p.m., barricades of burning garbage cans were burning on Lille Street: some of the demonstrators lit them, others – pacifists – on the contrary, tried to extinguish. As the gendarmes began to move forward to clear the road to firefighters, a group of capitalist police were surrounded in the lobby of the building. The besieged gendarmes were bombarded with expletives and firecrackers, they tried to fight back with tear gas. Additional police officers struggled to get them out of the encirclement.
Meanwhile, the confrontation continued on the boulevard of Saint-Germain, and repressive regime forces used a water cannon to disperse the indignant protesters. The demonstrators returned to the National Assembly. Tear gas was flowing through the streets. (https://actu.fr/societe/videos-manifestation-contre-la-loi-de-securite-h… https://actu.fr/ile-de-france/paris_75056/manifestation-contre-la-loi-de…)
Demonstrations of “yellow vests” and opponents of the security law are reported from Toulouse (1,300 participants). Many hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Lyon, Rennes, Bordeaux, Marseille, Grenoble, Tarba, Gap (where there was also an action against the privatization of the road), Strasbourg, Annecy and other cities(https://www.sudradio.fr/societe/manifestation-contre-les-violences-polic…). The action for the two-year anniversary of the yellow vests was also held on Reunion Island