Leader of France’s Yellow Vest movement to face court

Leader of France’s Yellow Vest movement to face court

Eric Drouet, a leading figure in the French yellow vest movement, will be tried today on charges of illegally organising

yellow vest erid druet

Photo: AFP

Eric Drouet, a leading figure in the French yellow vest movement, will be tried today on charges of illegally organising demonstrations in Paris. For his role in the protests, Drouet could face up to half a year in prison.

Motivated initially by austerity measures, wealth tax repeals and fuel tax increases, the yellow vest demonstrations have drawn thousands of protesters every Saturday since the movement’s inception in November of last year. So far, almost 1,800 people have been sentenced in court–generally for destruction of property and assaulting police–and 1,400 await trial.

Though the rallies have undermined confidence in the Macron government, nationwide attendance has been dropping, reaching about 60,000 last week. Likewise, due to the concessions he’s made and his town hall-style “Grand Debate”, Macron’s approval rating has ticked up.

An unduly long or cruel sentence for Drouet today could serve as a rallying cry for the yellow vests and draw greater participation. However, without the firebrand leader at the movement’s head, more moderate elements of the yellow vests could continue splintering from the group’s revolutionary base in the coming weeks and months.

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