A prominent activist in the Yellow Vests movement shared the demands of protesters during an interview during Saturday’s march in Paris.
“We are demanding the same today: to live in dignity on our salary and, in general, to live in dignity in France, to put a new form of democracy in place, because the system of French institutions is obsolete, to do away with perks, meaning that we have to be on equal terms with those who are in power,” activist Jerome Rodrigues explained.
Rodrigues is widely considered to be a figurehead within the movement. His profile was further raised when he was injured in his right eye by a projectile allegedly thrown by police.
“He argues he was elected legitimately, so he must treat the people legitimately, enforce what we demand instead of what the richest ones want.” Rodrigues said of French President Emmanuel Macron.
“He [Macron] must respect the police and stop pitting us against one another, using a human shield since police are people first of all, in order to protect himself,” Rodrigues added.
The activist also drew attention to the importance of nationwide debates that would involve the movement’s followers.
“Did you see the Yellow Vest protesters at ‘the big debates?’ No. But his [Macron’s] friends are there. We will keep discussing with each other. Yet we invite him to join us. And that is the difference,” Rodrigues concluded.
The Yellow Vest protest is marking its thirteenth consecutive week in a row.
According to the French Interior Ministry, a total of 51,400 people participated in Saturday’s Yellow Vest protests with some 4,000 marching in Paris.