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Gilets Jaunes Leader Eric Drouet Arrested In France


Activist and leader, Eric Drouet, was accused of organising protests without getting the relevant authorities’ permission. Shaky grounds for an arrest.

Yellow Jackets activist Eric Drouet, who emerged as one of the leaders of the French anti-government movement, was arrested in Paris on Wednesday evening.

Drouet, by profession a truck driver, was accused of the “organisation of an event without prior notification” for an event that took place in the French capital that night, French prosecutors said…

Drouet was apprehended near the Champs-Elysées, where a few dozen activists gathered at his request

On 22 December, Éric Drouet was also arrested during the “Act VI” demonstrations of the Yellow Vests in Paris and was then placed in custody for “carrying a prohibited weapon”, in this case a baton, and “being part of a group seeking to commit violence or cause damage”. More shaky ground. 

The Yellow Jackets, named after the fluorescent clothing worn by protesters which is a requirement for all French who own a vehicle, emerged as a popular movement last year because of anger over a planned hike in fuel tax, among many other things. The movement quickly grew big enough to challenge French President Emmanuel Macron’s government

French far-left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon tweeted in support of Drouet shortly after Wednesday’s arrest: 

“Eric Drouet arrested again. Why? Abuse of power. A politicised police targeting and harassing the leaders of the Yellow Jackets movement.”

Mélenchon later called for the release of Drouet in yet another tweet:

Enough violence, convictions and arrests against the
Yellow Vests! Release Éric Drouet. Make peace with the mouthpieces of the people.

It seems like now, the French authorities are using any excuse they can to shut further Yellow Vest or, “Gilets Jaunes” as they are known in France, protests down.

The protests have achieved much, as Macron himself acknowledged, but more is required, as many have said, if Europe is to be saved.

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