The Gillette Jaunes, or “Yellow Vest” Movement assembled for its thirteenth weekend (“Acte XIII”) on Saturday, taking to the streets of Paris to push a program of working class demands.
Police pushed back against the 50,000 person crowd, often escalating into violence including tear gas, pepper spray, batons and flash grenades. In previous weeks, rubber bullets and water cannons had also been deployed.
One activist lost his hand after a GLI-F4 grenade deployed by police exploded in his immediate vicinity.
GLI-F4 is a tear gas grenade that includes 25 grams of TNT and has been banned in all European nations except for France.
The protest itself boasted many different factions, from the reactionary right to the far left. One antifa group wielded communist iconography and dressed in black bloc. In addition to fighting police, this particular contingency participated in property destruction, such as smashing ATM’s and bank windows, and burning expensive cars and police vehicles.
The common unifying theme was a rejection of neoliberal capitalism and President Emmanuel Macron.
“He is the president of the rich, and he forgets all the poor people,” one Yellow Vest activist told News2Share.
“Neoliberalism = fascism,” one protester’s sign read, complete with photos of Hitler and Pinochet with Macron’s face photoshopped into them.
The fighting dissolved after a particularly violent scuffle near the Eiffel Tower led to the destruction of multiple police vehicles, the deployment of GLI-F4 grenades, and several injured and arrested protesters.
A total of at least ten people were reportedly arrested throughout the day.