A year after the start of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement, a new poll shows that 55 per cent of the French people still support the protestors.
The poll, released by Elabe, noted that just 29 per cent of French were against the movement, with another 15 per cent who said they had no opinion either way. The highest support comes from supporters of populist leader Marine Le Pen and far-left politician Jean-Luc Melenchon, Le Figaro reports.
Around 64 per cent of the respondents said that the movement made it possible to form “social bands” with others, but just 29 per cent said they thought the protests allowed French president Emmanuel Macron to “better understand the realities of everyday life.”
Le Pen: Mutilations of Protesters Are Macron’s Five-Year Legacy https://t.co/7rq1c3ViGI
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 10, 2019
According to a member of the French riot police, the CRS, the demonstration that took place on the 1st of December last year was so intense that some feared that government could have fallen.
The officer, who identified only as Stéphane, spoke to France Inter and said he was stationed in front of the Élysée Palace, the home of the French presidency, on the day of the protest, and his colleagues were fearful of the protesters.
“I saw in the eyes of my colleagues the fear that we could not hold our position. If we had been attacked where I was, we could not hold it: the Élysée would fall,” he said.
“When you have 3,000 ‘yellow vests’ that pass in front of your barrier, you say to yourself: there, if they realize that we are only three and that the Élysée is just 100 meters, we will perhaps call our families to tell them we love them and we will not be there tonight,” he added.
Macron Had Helicopter on Standby to Escape Presidential Palace During Protests https://t.co/qOu4EQKnzv
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 14, 2018
A week later, Stéphane said the CRS decided to confront protesters at the top of the Champs Élysées saying that he was frightened by the anger of the protestors. “They had the drool that flowed from their mouths, they were animals,” he claimed.
“There was really hate, people wanted to kill cops, burn everything, break everything, and I thought that day, ‘there will be deaths.’ Either on the police side, protesters’ side, or both,” the officer said, and noted that his police superiors were clueless during the protests and had underestimated the anger.
Condemning the higher-ups, he added: “The quality of a command, we do not see it in peacetime: we see it when it gets hot on the ground, well, on the 1st and 8th of December, they were bad. Paris, in the ministry, they did not take in the scale of the situation.”
Over 300 French Journalists Denounce Police Violence Toward Yellow Vests https://t.co/zLkVQza0cP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 4, 2019
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com