Who’re the actual UK yellow vest protesters?


Crowds protesting against austerity in yellow vests

A whole bunch of individuals placed on high-visibility jackets in imitation of French protesters as they marched in central London towards authorities cuts.

Organisers from The Individuals’s Meeting Towards Austerity described Saturday’s march because the arrival within the UK of the “yellow vests” movement that rocked France in November 2018.

They even introduced two campaigners from throughout the Channel to seal the connection.

However they don’t seem to be the one group to assert the spirit of the yellow vests, with pro-Brexit demonstrators outdoors Parliament additionally placing on high-vis jackets.

So why are demonstrators battling over this image?

The French connection

“English individuals, you look good in yellow!” mentioned a message on the jacket of Erick Simon.

He is without doubt one of the gilet jaunes, as they’re identified in France, who travelled from Normandy with fellow organiser, Laurie Martin.

Ms Martin mentioned she got here “to help the British as a result of our calls for are the identical as these preventing austerity throughout Europe”.

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French protesters Erick Simon and Laurie Martin wore messages of help

Many protesters mentioned they’d been impressed by occasions in France.

Kylie Crawley mentioned she wished to face towards cuts to companies for her 17-year-old daughter, Kacee, who has Down’s syndrome.

“To me the French yellow vests had been peculiar individuals eager to get out and inform individuals how unhealthy issues had obtained and the way they wished change,” she mentioned.

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Kylie Crawley purchased yellow vests on-line, together with for daughter Kacee

Jim Scott, who obtained up at 04:00 GMT to journey from west Wales to the protest, mentioned the vests had turn out to be a strong “image for change”.

“They’re going through the identical issues in France: austerity, cuts to public companies, increasing the hole between wealthy and poor. That is how this motion has began.”

Because the march started, one protester cried, “Let’s present the French what we are able to do!”

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Jim Scott mentioned the yellow vest was “an emblem for change”

Is it a right-wing or left-wing image?

In the meantime, one other group of protesters was outdoors Parliament, additionally in yellow vests.

They waved the union jack, burned EU flags and denounced “left-wing scum”. “We’re not far proper, we’re excellent,” they chanted.

In France, Inside Minister Christophe Castaner has mentioned violent far-right and far-left teams have each infiltrated the gilet jaunes protests.

However Tony Griffiths from the Individuals’s Meeting, which organised the UK anti-austerity march, mentioned that as a result of the motion had “burst out of the streets”, it meant various things to totally different individuals.

He mentioned marchers, who carried banners in help of migrants, stood towards racism and fascism.

“We’re completely not permitting the far proper to take over the yellow vest motion on this nation. They have been compelled out the yellow vest motion in France they usually’ll be compelled out the yellow vest motion on this nation,” he mentioned.

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“The problems are the identical, right here and in France,” mentioned Katerina Kohler

For some, the jackets despatched out a message of togetherness. Katerina Kohler, who was on the Individuals’s Meeting stall promoting them for £three every, mentioned: “It offers us a pleasant unity for individuals all to put on the vests.”

Some marchers declined to put on the high-vis jackets in case the symbolism could be misinterpreted, nonetheless.

Antonia Shiny, a campaigner with the anti-racism group Motion for Justice, mentioned she wished to “steer away from white populism”.

“I do not want it to march for what I’m standing for,” she mentioned.

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“It isn’t a uniform,” mentioned Antonia Shiny, who selected to not put on a yellow vest

How is the motion totally different from France?

On Saturday, France put 80,00zero law enforcement officials on responsibility to deal with 1000’s of gilets jaunes demonstrators throughout the nation.

In London, in contrast, a whole bunch of individuals attended the anti-austerity march. BBC house affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford mentioned the pro-Brexit demonstration was smaller and attracted between 200 and 300 individuals.

The French protests had been a grassroots motion, born on-line, and initially focused towards gasoline taxes. The yellow vests had been used as an emblem as a result of each French driver is legally required to hold one of their car.

Within the UK, protesters mentioned they both purchased their jackets on-line, picked them up on the stall or, in a number of instances, already had one they used for stewarding at different protests.

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Sharon Stafford-Jones and Debbie Hutchins had been protesting towards modifications to ladies’s pensions

And whereas the French protesters had been outdoors of established political organisations, the British anti-austerity march introduced collectively a number of commerce unions and marketing campaign teams, and was attended by Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

Many attendees mentioned they hoped the motion grew within the UK to turn out to be as highly effective as its French counterpart.

Sharon Stafford-Jones mentioned she had been in France just lately the place she mentioned there was “a beautiful neighborhood spirit coming collectively” over the protests.

However Jeremy Jennings, professor of political principle at King’s School London, was sceptical about whether or not the motion would translate.

He mentioned: “The scenario in France is fairly determined. I can see why somebody would need to try to use that mobilisation in Britain, however I might be stunned if it took off.”



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