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"Gilets jaunes" take over Starbucks Coffee on Paris' Champs-Elysees

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"Gilets jaunes" take over Starbucks Coffee on Paris' Champs-Elysees
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Nathalia Gimeno/Facebook
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A group of "Gilets Jaunes" (Yellow Vests) "invaded" a Starbucks Coffee shop on the Champs-Elysées in Paris on Sunday, one day after 46,600 "gilets jaunes" marched across France for the movement's "Act XV".

A few dozens participants of the French anti-tax movement, wearing the symbolic high-security vest, filmed themselves on Facebook Live playing music and singing songs wiht lyrics such as "We're not giving up".

The group, which stayed in the cafe for a few hours, was protesting against the American coffee chain's tax evasion in France. "We're taking Starbucks hostage", one gilet jaune joked as she filmed the scene.

Nathalia Gimeno, the gilet jaune who filmed the scene on Facebook Live, told Euronews that "between 20 and 30" gilets jaunes were able to get into the Starbucks Coffee. "We did this to protest against the fiscal optimisation organised by the American multinational", she said.

She added that they originally wanted to "invade" the McDonald's restaurant on the Champs-Elysées, but had to abandon the idea because they "couldn't get close" to the American fast-food chain, which had organised security around its restaurant.

The gilets jaunes chose to hold such a blockade on Paris' Champs-Elysées because the famous avenue has become symbolic of the movement, Gimeno told Euronews. The gilets jaunes regularly march on the Parisian avenue during their weekly protests.

The French lawyer Philippe de Veulle, who represents the "gilet jaune" Jérôme Rodrigues who was blinded by a police shot and was taking part in the operation, explained on another Facebook video that he is waiting for Starbucks France to write him a letter regarding the "moral aspect of the chain's fiscal optimisation" as "a vast portion of the population is suffering". He also called for Starbucks France to "reinject" the Starbucks' profits coming from this fiscal optimisation into the French economy.

De Veulle said that this "new" and "effective" way of protesting was likely to be replicated "everywhere" in France.

Watch the full Facebook Live inside Starbucks here: