Who are the gilets jaunes?
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.