On Saturday, thousands took to the streets with their vision for the future of France in mind.
“ACT IV” of the yellow vests protest was set to be big – For one group who gave Euronews’ Anelise Borges exclusive access - the demonstration started the day before.
“We’re supposed to be going to Paris. But we don’t really know what will happen.
We don’t know if we’ll be able to get there.’ Morad told us. This group from Lorient, in Western France, worried that police might have prevented them from joining the protests in the French capital
The yellow vests are a fluid, varied and leaderless movement. But they say despite the sometimes contradictory demands, they are cohesive – and supportive of each other.
Despite government calls for protesters to stay away from the fourth mass demonstration in as many weeks. Morad and his friends are both excited and apprehensive. It doesn’t take long before tensions begin to flare up. As police attempt to disperse the crowds with stun grenades and tear gas – Morad is critical “I told you they would do that. See now, we’re blocked.” He said.
But Morad was keen to maintain that those protesting were more representative of the French than the authorities’ reaction. “This is not France. France is not like this. We’re being oppressed and we didn’t do anything” he told Euronews after Police began throwing projectiles at the crowds. “We demand other countries to respect human rights but at home, we don’t do that. You saw how it started.” He added.
But there was looting and ransacking of shops on the Champs Elysee - While the yellow vests insist THESE were not part of the movement… Others said they believed only by breaking rules will they be able to really show their anger and get the government to bow.
“I believe that for as long as Macron and his government don’t listen to us, things will only get worse. I don’t like talking about it but we are not far from a civil war. It’s what is happening.
We are not far from another May 1968.” Said one protester.
But for Morad – he says this will be his last protest for a while. He is done.
“This is the last time I come. For my family and all… it’s over. I think they are afraid. They don’t even realize it but they are. This is the third weekend that I come and I am tired. And top of everything look at this”.
After nearly a month in the streets - Can the yellow vests keep going? And what France will emerge if they get what they want?
While millions ponder those questions - The French president Emmanuel Macron has yet to address the nation and the movement that has plunged the country into some of its darkest days.