Images of apparent police brutality are fanning the flames of radicalisation as the movement spreads. As armoured vehicles are deployed in Paris, things could heat up furtherby Cécile Guerin / December 8, 2018 / Leave a comment
The gilets jaunes protests have radicalised in recent days—now, images of police brutality could fan the flames of the movement.
In recent weeks, France has experienced its worst urban riots since 1968. The “yellow vest” (gilets jaunes) movement—named after the high visibility jackets that French drivers are required to have in their cars—has been blocking roads across the country and escalated from being an anti-tax movement into a broader outburst of popular anger against political elites.
On Thursday, footage showing a police roundup of 148 protesting high school students in Mantes-la-Jolie shocked the nation. The video—which appeared to shows the teenagers kneeling, hands behind their heads and policemen ironically observing, “this is a well-behaved class”—has drawn condemnation from most opposition parties and further angered the gilets jaunes, who shared it widely on social media.
The timing of the incident could not have been more unfortunate. Not only did the video emerge two days before planned large-scale protests at the weekend, it also reactivated disturbing historical associations: exactly 32 years before on 6 December 1986, France made