Destinations Magazine

France’s Yellow-jacket Protests Are Smaller, but Still Fierce

By Stizzard

THE ROUNDABOUT on a ridge outside the Provençal town of Beaucaire is a pleasant enough spot. The sky is clear, the air is warm, and the view over the Rhône valley would be picturesque, were it not dominated by a giant cement works. On the roadside, a festive group of 30 or so gilets jaunes (yellow jackets) protesters has set up camp outside a yellow-painted shed. On the grassy bank, 11 yellow crosses have been planted in the earth-one for each of those who have died in accidents linked to the protests countrywide.

"We have occupied this place every day, even over Christmas and New Year," says Bernard, a pensioner, "and we're not going to stop now." As the working day draws to a close, more cars pull up, disgorging provisions and small children. Parasols are opened to shade a picnic table, and toys lie on the ground. If the gilets jaunes elsewhere have mostly left the roundabouts, or been forcibly moved from them, pockets such as this corner of southern France and nearby Avignon are holding out.

Four months after the gilets jaunes protesters first emerged, what was originally a revolt against the rising tax on motor fuel has turned into a longer-running protest movement than the May 1968 student uprising. To be sure, the number of weekend...

The Economist: Europe
France’s yellow-jacket protests are smaller, but still fierce

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