Who are the gilets jaunes?

The Guardian Weekly - - Spotlight -

A grass­roots ci­ti­zens’ protest move­ment be­gan in early Novem­ber against a planned rise in the tax on diesel and petrol, which Em­manuel Macron in­sisted would aid the coun­try’s tran­si­tion to green en­ergy. A poll at the time found that the price of fuel had be­come France’s big­gest talk­ing point. The move­ment was named “gilets jaunes” (yel­low vests) be­cause pro­test­ers wear the flu­o­res­cent yel­low high-vis jack­ets that all mo­torists must by law carry in their cars. But what be­gan as a fuel tax protest has now mor­phed into a wider anti-gov­ern­ment move­ment. Un­like pre­vi­ous French protest move­ments, it sprang up on­line through petitions and was or­gan­ised by or­di­nary work­ing peo­ple post­ing videos on so­cial me­dia, with­out a set leader. A first na­tional day of protests was held across France on 17 Novem­ber and the protests have con­tin­ued daily.

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