What next for the gilets jaunes (“yellow vests”) movement? Will it continue to spread beyond France? Or is it losing steam? The movement, which began as a series of (sometimes violent) French streets protests, has seen copycats spring up in several EU countries, from Belgium and Germany, to Poland and Portugal. In Britain, several public figures have recently been harassed by far-right activists calling themselves “Yellow Vests UK”.

Most of the copycat demonstrations have been relatively small in scale, comprised of hundreds of people, not hundreds of thousands. Even the main protest movement in France is greatly reduced from its peak, with roughly 50,000 people protesting in January 2019 so far, well below the peak in November 2018 when over 300,000 people came out onto the streets.

The scenes of carnage, rioting, and looting in Paris have certainly lost the yellow vests some public sympathy, and a recent French poll found President Macron’s approval rating has edged up 5% since November. Nevertheless, the yellow vests have sent shockwaves through European politics, and politicians hoping the movement will lose momentum and fade away will likely be disappointed.

Are the yellow vests becoming a Europe-wide movement? Or are the protests becoming tainted by association with street violence and the far-right? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Patrice Calatayu

16 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Georges Ferey

    I think the yellow vest movement could regain in power if it stop going in Paris where there are inevitably riots.

  2. avatar
    catherine benning

    Are the yellow vests becoming a Europe-wide movement?

    It indicates the beginning or the catalyst for great unrest across Europe.

    It is the fault of politicians who are bought to push global political movement against citizens interests in the West. It appears they are not willing to accept it any longer. It has been ruthlessly hidden and only now are people waking up to what is happening to them and their families. It sounds as if they feel they have nothing left to lose.

    I believe the more politicians deny the voice of the people, as they are in the UK, the worse the situation will become. Surely experience or history will have taught this is not the way to go. You can only fool some of the people some of the time.

    What I find interesting is, none of those with the money and power behind this movement have or are willing to put themselves on the front line. They want the ordinary man, who has been exploited by the situation, to fight the battle for them.

    Hold onto you hats.

  3. avatar

    It is to be expected that it will go EU-wide. The EU wants to be large, this is the flip side of the coin. It would be wise for the EU to listen to the message instead of focusing on silly things like violence. Address the root cause not the effects because if this movement grows it may dissolve the EU. These kind of things happen when the elected government favours the mega-rich and corporations while neglecting, and at the expense of the majority of the population, with the people’s own tax money.

  4. avatar

    It is evidemt that something is not working, the European Union was founded with the dream of creating a whole “country” where people could improve their quality of living.
    This is not happening.

  5. avatar

    No. Sorry France, but aimless demagoguery is a competitive sector these days in Spain, as Manuel Valls is discovering. It’s very hard to break into this market.

  6. avatar

    uhhhm nope. not even a france wide actually^^

  7. avatar

    As soon as a section of the people has a gripe, they now don yellow vests and go out on the streets to protest. Now some of these have causes that make sense, others are just wreckers and trouble makers who just want chaos.

  8. avatar

    Macron is a president elected by the people under a democratic system, if people are not happy, under a democratic system, these people should reflect their grievance via their representatives, the media or directly to the president. We have more than enough channels to air grievances. If the Yellow Vest refused to talk with Macron and insist his resignation, I am afraid this is an organized political group with a hidden agenda. As Macron is elected by the people to govern, the Yellow Vest, being a very small radical group of people, they have no right to call for President Macron’s resignation if he has committed no crime. It is only the people who can vote an elected president out of office in regular interval.

  9. avatar

    Even Trump is troubling with several allegations of crime, the American people can only force his resignation with investigation of the legal authority properly or vote him out next year. As European states are also old democracies, people ought to respect the rule of law and no popularly elected leader should be forced to resign due to a small group of people who do not like him/her. The Yellow Vest ought to respect their own political system which they are so proud of.

  10. avatar

    All of these political outbursts across Europe relate to “too much power” for the establishment. The European public have had enough of faceless bureaucrats pulling strings to suit their own end.
    If countries In Europe gave their public a referendum on “in /out” membership, most would vote out as it occurred in the UK. Call it madness or brave, it showed what the public really think at present.

    In the end the public will change the course of political power one way or another even if their power hungry administrations don’t want it.

    The internet has had a profound effect on public knowledge and administrative powers but as is happening in the UK, devolving power locally will prevail in the end.

  11. avatar

    The Muslims of Europe need to wake up! You’ve been set up for mass murder in Europe . The jesuits of Rome want America and Europe fascist and will use the Muslims to get to their goal

  12. avatar

    Politics is about the appropriation of resources or power. When demands is huge and resources is limited, there is always some people who cannot always get what they want. If those who cannot get what they want take it to the street all the time, what have those elected representatives been doing in the parliament/assemby? Does it mean that democracy is not working anymore in this era of multilateralism and highly individualistic world? If people who treasure their democratic system, they have to agree that something which is good for the majority/collective might not be very good the for minority. As the yellow-vests is against the increase of fuel charge, at the same time, there are overwhelming call all over the world for green policy and sustainable development, the yellow-vests is against demand of the whole world or the majority. The riot of the yellow-vests cannot be justified. What has puzzled me is that those who can owe a private vehicle should belong to the better off group and normally, this group is more affluent and would support green policy. The most vulnerable groups should be using more often the mass transportation, which fuel charge increase would not adversely affect too seriously…

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