Watch / Read / Listen: Les Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests)

For the 13th weekend in a row, thousands have been taking to the streets of Paris and elsewhere in France to protest, showing their unity by wearing gilets jaunes, or yellow vests. The protests began last November, triggered by an announcement of rising fuel tax. Protesters chose the symbol of the yellow vest, stemming from the law in France that states that you must keep a fluorescent jacket in the car in case it breaks down. The scope for the unrest has grown to cover a number of issues and calls for the resignation of President Emmanuel Macron. Sparking violence, deaths and thousands of arrests, the protests have been covered in global media for the last 3 months. The video, article and podcast below explain a little more about the background of the protests and the main events which have unraveled since November.


This short video by Vice News shows some shocking footage of the protests, including the vandalising of the iconic Champs-Élysées in Paris. The video also features interviews with people taking place in the Yellow Vest Movement, who explain their reasons for protesting, and an interview with a spokesperson from Macron’s party, who defends the position of the government.


This piece was written for the Financial Times by French Journalist Agnes Poirier whose unsuspecting uncle, Jojo, reveals that he is part of the Yellow Vest Movement. It shows how the unease and dissatisfaction with the current French government is permeating numerous factions of the French public and causing even the least likely of individuals to find unity in the movement. Showing his niece, Agnes, pictures of his dog donning a fluorescent jacket and telling tales of protesting with friends old and new, Jojo claims he wears the Yellow Jacket to speak up for the voiceless France.


BBC’s Briefing Room podcast covers current affairs by bringing in experts and insiders to comment on and explain issues in-depth. This episode goes back to the context of Macron’s leadership and policies, and discusses the discrepancies between media coverage of riotous Yellow Jacket crowds vandalising Paris and the lesser reported vast numbers in the rural areas of France who are protesting more peacefully.

You can listen to this on the Podcast app or on BBC’s website.

Image: Fee

Jen Hall