France: the fight of yellow vests continues

On November 17, 2018, men and women gathered for the first time everywhere in France, to protest against the high cost of living. Their sign of recognition: a yellow vest. Months of intense social protest against the government of Emmanuel Macron will give this movement an unprecedented character, both in its duration and in its form. The demonstrations are violent, the repression of the forces of order severe. Nearly four years later, those who participated in the movement tell how this struggle has turned their lives upside down.

The Yellow Vests movement has never had a hierarchy or an official representative, but some have sometimes been appointed as spokespersons. This is the case of Priscillia Ludosky. After her petition against the carbon tax, she is, with a few others, at the origin of the first mobilization, on November 17, 2018.

Priscillia Ludosky participates in the Future Leaders Academy © France 24/Cécile Kindria

This yellow vest of the first hour now wants to institutionalize its commitment. She participates in a program created by personalities from the associative world, the Academy of Future Leaders. The objective is to train in politics in order to eventually stand for election. Priscillia hesitated for a long time to embark on this path “because she does not trust the machine, nor the system”. But she now has the impression “that we can’t do it any other way”. An opinion, according to her, shared by more and more yellow vests, that the mobilizations every Saturday and “the political non-response” have exhausted.

Alexandre Barrot also participated in most of the Acts – the name given to the demonstrations of the Yellow Vests, both in Paris and in the rest of the country. Convinced of the need to use violence to be heard, he was one of those who were called “the thugs”. He paid dearly for it, since he made two three-month stays in prison, including one in the disciplinary section.

Alexandre Barrot continues his commitment with the Yellow Vests in Lisieux
Alexandre Barrot continues his commitment with the Yellow Vests in Lisieux © France 24/Cécile Kindria

A life turned upside down, which does not prevent him from continuing his commitment today, with the small community of yellow vests which continues to meet on the roundabout of Hope in Lisieux, in Normandy.

Hedi Barini’s life has also changed completely. 1er December 2018, while peacefully attending the demonstration in front of the Puy-en-Velay prefecture, in Auvergne, he was seriously injured in the eye by a disencirclement grenade thrown by a gendarme.

Hedi is one of around 30 people blinded during the Yellow Vests movement
Hedi is one of around 30 people blinded during the Yellow Vests movement © France 24/Thibault Jeanpierre

Nearly four years later, it continues its reconstruction. The one who was not so militant before the movement became very committed against police violence. Like the majority of the 30 people knocked out during this social movement, he filed a complaint without success. Today, he is appealing this classification without further action and is finally trying to obtain victim status.

Director: Julia Guggenheim

Frame: Cecile Khindria, Thibault Jeanpierre

Editor: Sebastien Eppinger

Editor-in-chief: Olivier Ponthus

Mix: Planimonteur – Maxime Scheidecker

Production: Yemaya Productions – Léa Sansonetti, Nelly Mabillat

France 24

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