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Why France’s ‘gilets jaunes’ protesters are so angry

Claude Poissenot


France’s “gilets jaunes” protests of December 1 were marked not only by their anger and violence, but also by the variety of those taking part. The violence of the protests – named after the yellow vests worn by those on the streets – is partly the work of extremist, anarchist groups pursuing illusory political goals. Others involved are casseurs or “wreckers”, who’ve inserted themselves in the movement to fight the police and loot stores for the appeal of doing damage and the lure of personal profit. But it seems that some of the gilets jaunes themselves wanted to fight. Above all, they are expressing their anger out loud. The protesters consider themselves as “the people”. Their motives – which include falling purchasing power and rising taxes – are often coupled with frustrations about the gap between the French government and its citizens. This theme has come out in the choice of sites targeted in the violence – the Elysée presidential palace, administrative buildings, banks and luxury shops.
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hal-01990396 , version 1 (23-01-2019)


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Claude Poissenot. Why France’s ‘gilets jaunes’ protesters are so angry. 2018, pp.[En ligne]. ⟨hal-01990396⟩
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