This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
FRENCH riot police arrested a prominent member of the gilets jaunes (yellow jackets) movement in Paris on suspicion of organising an unofficial protest last night.
Eric Drouet was detained while en route to a candlelit vigil along the Champs-Elysees paying tribute to those wounded during the protests, which started almost two month ago.
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) January 3, 2019
Footage of last night’s arrest posted online shows riot police leading Mr Drouet through a throng of officers lined up between him and his supporters.
Above the sounds of police sirens, his supporters can be heard shouting: “Dictatorship” as he is manhandled into the back of a patrol car.
Former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who leads the left-wing France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, branded the arrest “an abuse of power.”
Messages posted on Mr Melenchon’s official Twitter page, which he does not write in person, called for an end to the persecution of the protesters.
“Enough violence, convictions and arrests against [the gilets jaunes],” one message reads.
“Release Eric Drouet. Leave the voices of the people alone.”
Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire defended the arrest, saying: “It’s called respecting the rule of law.
“It’s normal that when you break the laws of the republic, you face the consequences.”
Mr Drouet, who works as a lorry driver, has become something of a spokesman for the decentralised, anti-government yellow jackets movement both online and on television.
He has been credited with suggesting that lorry drivers angry at French President Emmanuel Macron’s fuel-price levy should block roads to attract the government’s attention.
Mr Drouet also faces trial in June for a previous arrest in which he was charged with “carrying a prohibited category D weapon.”
He says the December 22 arrest was politically motivated and his lawyer maintains that the “weapon” police accuse him of carrying was a piece of wood in his bag.
Benjamin Cauchy, another figurehead of the protest movement, said the government was pouring oil on the fire.
“Unfortunately, I have the impression that the government wants to radicalise the movement. They have just put a coin in the jukebox and the song ‘yellow jackets’ will continue to play, that’s for sure.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.