Yellow Vests: Towards a Big Day of Protest on September 12
Responding to the call of several groups and personalities of the movement, the Yellow Vests are planning a big day of demonstration on 12 September. Objective: to give a second wind to a mobilization put on the back burner by the coronavirus crisis.
On August 4, several Yellow Vest groups and personalities in the movement launched on social networks a call for a big day of mobilization throughout France on 12 September, after several weeks of interruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The objective of this mobilization is to recall all the demands at the base of the Yellow Vests, which were those of November 17 , to return to our core business, to be able to claim and to be able to propose solutions on what is happening today in France,” said Yellow Vest Jérôme Rodrigues on August 3 on RT France, who has co-organized an event called “#12September A single duty to defend our rights” on Facebook.
“See you on September 12th! And let’s not break anything so as not to discredit our movement. Let us not fall into the trap of the power, the media and those who serve them by pushing us to be malicious. Yellow Vests is “determination + benevolence””, reads the Yellow Vests’ Collective Yellow Card, also published on Twitter on August 4.
“Every yellow vest knows where he has to go on September 12th. Paris – Toulouse – Nantes -, etc… And if that’s not enough !!! We won’t give up !!!”, another Yellow Vest activist account posted the same day on Twitter.
Jérôme Rodrigues is calling for a demonstration that is “both peaceful and demanding”. Targeting the media refrain, which he says aims to instil the idea that “the movement is running out of steam” and “lacks air”. He says he is “fed up with talking about the Yellow Vests in the past tense and always remembering the media’s good memories”.
Then, addressing those worried about seeing the Yellow Vest movement restart throughout France, he stressed that the fear should rather focus on the consequences of the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic:
“If we are not afraid of the Yellow Vests on this date of 12 September, we should perhaps be afraid of all those who will arrive on the poverty market. You’ve got redundancies in shambles, 700,000 young people coming into a job market that’s virtually non-existent.”
“On this date of September 12, it will be a good time to remind this new government, which is now riding the 100-day wave, that nothing is being proposed to the demands we’re making for a better life, for direct and participatory democracy, for an end to the privileges of our governments and for an end to police violence”, he also said.
“It’s important that we’re there and I guarantee you that it won’t be just yellow vests. I’m central enough to the Yellow Vest movement to tell you that the discontent and anger that’s going to come in September is not just going to be Yellow Vests. It’s going to be citizens first.”
Asked about a possible convergence of struggles, particularly with the mobilizations against racism and police violence in the wake of the American Black Lives Matter movement, Jérôme Rodrigues said that this would be “very complicated”. For him, “all the action groups or those who are struggling […] are all prophets of the path to be taken, but the finality is the same”. He prefers to use the term “a citizens’ union…with a common goal, that of improving our quality of life or avoiding the deterioration of our quality of life that the government is currently creating”.
Finally, Jérôme Rodrigues considers it crucial “that France and the French wake up, that credit be given to the workers and French people who have held France together”:
“This is the first time, whatever people say, whatever people think, that I am launching an event, that I am asking all the Yellow Vests action groups and other citizens to be able to organize and regain the union that we had on November 17 , to be able to join in a peaceful, demanding and solution-oriented demonstration,” he concluded.
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