For the worst that can be traded outside of France's largest cities, the tax looked like another attack by a separate elite, not only for their already stretched paperbacks, but also for their dignity.
Some spoke of the great worries of the rich about the end of the world, which took precedence over the immediate existential fears of the poorest towards the end of the month. Others fear that the tax hike benefits the government rather than the environment. Everyone agreed that it was just money they could not afford.
As Samy Shalaby, an early yellow west activist explains, "The problem with this tax is that if you live in a suburb, you live in the countryside and you may need to work an hour from home to work Gasoline to fill your car, and it is very expensive for these people, for the citizens in big cities less expensive because there is public transport ̵
unseen – theirs Daily struggles lacking in the endless political debates of French television – the yellow west went into rage, but also in a mood of rare solidarity and optimism on the streets. Here was a movement – with its highly visible symbol – that would finally bring them and their daily struggles out of the shadows.
This ethos still resonates with the demonstrator Franck Barrenho. "I'm so proud to be a yellow waistcoat, have a long life fighting for the Yellow Vest, and we'll change the world together," he says.
At the roadblocks that they erected after this first big Saturday, there was a sense of community coupled with a sense that many people felt for the first time. Here they finally felt understood and understood – their struggles were now the focus of political attention, and their daily routine was bound to something much bigger than themselves. Like at the beginning of every revolution, it drove the initial sense of not being alone, week after week Week, even if the winter weather started.
Optimism Transforms into Rage
In the first weeks of the protest, the police seemed overwhelmed. The government's numerous concessions – from the abolition of the exit tax to a € 10 billion package of wage increases and tax relief for the poorest – seemed to only deepen the movement's resolve and broaden the scope of its demands. Abolition of the tax on the need to reduce the high cost of living, to the end of general inequality.
Week after week, the protest became much more personal, with songs and posters addressed to President Emmanuel Macron himself. In early January, and after so many concessions from the government, the demonstrators would tell you that nothing less than his resignation would bring them home. Samy Shalaby explains, "These people had to have purchasing power to get gas in their car, so the protest started, but after that people wanted to challenge more than one tax, they wanted to change democracy, taxation, and excise duty." entire economic model … they wanted to change the entire policy of the state.