Many in France have tired of the Yellow Vest movement. It began as an effort to protest a huge spike in the fuel tax, which had been introduced as a method to fulfill a campaign promise by President Macron. Many of the citizens, particularly the fixed-income elderly, had been infuriated to discover that efforts to curb global warming would mean a large increase in their fuel costs.
Now there are the Red Scarves, marching against the Yellow Vests. They may have greater numbers.
The Yellow Vest movement was quickly hijacked away from its original focus by nationalist and communist groups. By the time Macron capitulated on the fuel tax, new demands had been added, as listed by the would-be revolutionaries at Open Revolt: government subsidies for youth employers, a minimum wage increase, France exiting the E.U. (“Frexit”), a ban on plastic bottles, exiting NATO, banning all GMOs, nationalizing all airports and more.
The protests have continued over every weekend, although the number of attendees diminished greatly following the fuel tax concession. The people remaining are the radicals, seeing political blood in the water and wishing to push through dramatic change while Macron is demonstrating weakness.
In keeping with historical radical movements, violence has been a common result, with the majority of the violence occurring in the nation’s capital. To date there have been eleven deaths, mostly of non-protesters due to car accidents following the unexpected discovery of a blocked-off road. There have also been complaints of severe injury in the clashes between yellow vests and police.
According to government figures, 1,700 people have been injured and 1,000 policemen or gendarmes have been hurt in the 11 weeks of conflict.The Local
Out of those injured, 100 have been seriously hurt. Out of those injured, 15 people are thought to have sustained serious eye injuries, including a police officer who lost an eye.
This weekend, a new group arose: the Red Scarves. The Red Scarves are a protest group comprised of citizens who want an end to the Yellow Vest movement. That’s the entirety of their demand: no more Yellow Vests. They’re tired of the property destruction performed by the anarchists, they’re tired of the violence, they’re tired of the pro-Russian isolationism of the nationalists. And they greatly outnumbered the yellow vests.
Some 10,000 people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest acts of violence and vandalism on the sidelines of anti-government demonstrations by the largely peaceful yellow vest movement.AP
In contrast, the Yellow Vest marchers, while still maintaining almost 70,000 marchers across the country, mustered only 4000 in Paris.
Whether the Red Scarves are a concentration of pro-Macron and anti-Yellow Vest support which are still outnumbered by the Yellow Vests nationally, or whether similar Scarves movements will arise in other cities where the Vests engage in smaller protests will likely be seen next weekend.