Thousands of pro-Macron climate activists materialized in Paris on Sunday to counter the Yellow Vest movement during the 11th straight week of protests against the French government.
Marching under slogans such as "Enough!" and "End the violence," the Red Scarves and now "Blue Vest" movements have teamed up for their first "anti-Yellow Vest" protest in Paris on Sunday.
"We denounce the insurrectional climate installed by the Yellow Vests. We also reject the threats and constant verbal abuse [suffered by non-Yellow Vests]," reads a joint manifesto.
Protest in #Paris against violence of the #Giletsjaunes movement against people in France and French institutions. and in support of the law enforcement. #MarcheRépublicaineDesLibertés Video credit: @LinePress pic.twitter.com/NdR9lgw4sv— Sotiri Dimpinoudis (@sotiridi) January 27, 2019
The Blue Vest movement was founded by 36-year-old legal expert Laurent Segnis and cropped up on Twitter in November to protest “the blockades, the violence, the unjustified restrictions on the freedom to come and go as you please, the attacks on freedom of opinion (if you’re not a Yellow Vest, you’re wealthy, or worse)”.
The Facebook group “STOP, that’s enough now” was set up by 51-year-old aeronautics engineer Laurent Soulié from the southwestern city of Toulouse in mid-December to allow “the French who’ve stayed quiet for six weeks to finally have their say”.
In an interview with AFP earlier this week, he said that he saw the creation of the group as a necessity because the Yellow Vest protests did not appear to calm down at all despite the concessions made by the government to try to meet some of their demands. -France24
Nearly 10,000 people ticked the participation box on the #RepublicanMarchForFreedom Facebook page as of Sunday, while 27,000 said they were interested. The group, launched in November over Facebook by John Christophe Werner, was created because French "citizens are being penalised every day by the Yellow Vests’ methods" according to Werner.
On the group’s website, multiple people recount how they’ve been verbally abused for not wearing the same reflective yellow west that the anti-government protesters wear, how they have been forced to sign petitions calling for President Emmanuel Macron’s resignation in order to get through roadblocks on their way to work, and how they have been accused of belonging to the bourgeoisie for not buying into the Yellow Vests demands. -France24
Many of the Red Scarves were bussed into Paris according to journalist Sotiri Dimpinoudis and others.
LOL Most of these people protesting in the #MarcheRepublicaineDesLibertes aren't even from Paris they arrived via buses to #Paris today! According to News sources 5000 people came for Pro-Macron, Climate change march. pic.twitter.com/AjudwMPLyZ— Sotiri Dimpinoudis (@sotiridi) January 27, 2019
Can the Red Scarves match the anger and passion behind the Yellow Vest movement? Only time will tell.
"Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant." -— Bellingdog (@Bellingdawg) January 26, 2019
Honoré de Balzac pic.twitter.com/VI5fx8sMVE