Another Sunday in Paris, another protest. But this time, the marchers have a new agenda—and choice of accessory.
In an effort to protest the unrest and violence of the protests led by gilets jaunes (yellow vests) since November, more than 10,000 people turned out on Jan. 27 to support the movement known as foulards rouges (red scarves).
Sunday’s peaceful counter protest, called the Republican March for Liberty, combined three groups—one bluntly called “Stop, maintenant ca suffit” or “Stop, that’s enough now”—that have been working to counter the yellow vest protests, largely apolitically.
According to their Facebook page, the foulards rouges have no high-minded political aim other than a return to normal life: ”The foulards rouges are only asking for one thing, the restoration of public order and individual liberties … Life must start again in our country, with serenity and respect.”
While the gilets jaunes can be said to broadly oppose Emmanuel Macron, their red counterparts are not expressly for the French president or his party, En Marche. Rather, they say they are pro-republic. They reject the disrespect and violence towards French institutions that many of the gilets jaunes have demonstrated in their 11 consecutive weeks of protests.
“The anger was heard, the claims were legitimate but we denounce the form, systematic violence, hatred against elected officials, journalists. Today, we are no longer in a social dispute,” said the march’s organizer Laurent Soulié, according to AFP.
The march ended at Place de la Bastille.