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In Bourges: "I did not think to see so many people today"

Marked by renewed mobilization throughout France, the movement of yellow vests responded to the call of Bourges. Several thousand people gathered on this foggy Saturday in central France. The city is located in the middle of the diagonal of the void that extends from the Ardennes to the Landes. A symbolic choice, recalled by Gallic shields made the day before and installed on the top of the belvedere overlooking the car park Séraucourt.

Saturday morning, yellow berruyers vests, used to weekends to 500 demonstrators on average, expect a strong mobilization. While setting up his market tent, Matthieu is delighted by the arrival of protesters from all over France: "I did not think I would see so many people coming today. It is heartwarming."

With a few minutes in advance of the program, the walk starts around 14 hours. The agreed route passes by the boulevard d'Auron and along the river, towards the station. Although the prefecture has banned any demonstration in the city center, several hundred yellow vests still decide to engage. In the Rue des Pouliers, the ten or so gendarmes recoil before the mobile group and plunge into the heart of Bourges. Some 660 police and gendarmes are deployed. The first teargas grenades are launched by the police.

Slideshow: in Bourges, in the center of yellow vests

A welcome point centralizing the grievances of yellow vests before the big national debate next Tuesday.

Click on the image to start the slideshow (Photo Cyril Zannettacci VU Agency for Release)

While some of them began to reach the Middle Street, the main shopping street of the city, the main procession passed the station, greeted by the cries of Berruyers lodged on a bridge. The atmosphere is good and the crowd follows the songs sung by the truck that guides the procession. At the Pierre-Semard avenue, the group meets a cordon of CRS blocking the passage. Faced with gas, the yellow vests are scattered in the old Bourges, looped and squared by the police.

Between two cords of CRS, Gilles, an old man on a bike is stuck facing the halls Saint-Bonnet. This Berruyer painter was present at the morning rally: "Bourges is a peaceful city. It's a real village. A day like this, it wakes people up a bit! " In front of La Scala pizzeria, a CRS company holds the place. Some make use of flash ball towards a group of yellow vests, injuring several protesters and journalists. No breakage was found in Bourges. 19 people were arrested.

Market day

After the clashes in the heart of the cobblestone streets, the yellow vests join the initial rendezvous point. After a speech by Maxime Nicolle nestled on a truck, the hundred or so presents disperse in peace. As night falls, some are warming by the fireside while Matthew the market gardener dismantles his tent and throws clementines to who wants: "Tomorrow is market day, I have to pack up."

The peaceful atmosphere of the belvedere contrasts with that of a roundabout several hundred meters high where some 300 people gather. Along the car park, the renovation of the Alfred-Depege stadium is a real gold mine for the demonstrators and the few young people in the neighborhood who hastily erect a barricade of several tens of meters to block the advance of the CRS. A large jets of tear gas, the meeting of the roundabout is quickly scattered south of Bourges.

Rémy, a 33-year-old screen artist knows the place well. Rock fan, he is a regular at the Printemps de Bourges. And he is not at his first demonstration and accuses the police plan: "They blocked the main procession, only a few minutes after we passed the train station, he explained methodically by mimicking the police strategy. It's quite clear this afternoon that the police have done everything to get to the center of the city. "

Charles Delouche Special Envoy to Bourges


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Cyril Zannettacci (photos)

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