Kneeling protester: A new symbol of the Yellow Vests?
Kneeling protester: A new symbol of the Yellow Vests? (PHOTOS)
The town of Mantes-la-Jolie, west of Paris, has found itself at the center of a scandal after a controversial video showed police detentions of students from a local high school. The protesters were clashing with police and officers resorted to quite disputable measures during the arrests – they forced the detainees to kneel.
This fact may have been left unknown but for a camera which captured the teens, who were protesting the education reform, kneeling in mud with heads bowed and hands behind their heads. Some of them were lined up facing a wall. Police officers in full riot gear walked with batons among the students.
The footage stirred public anger, people compared it to an execution by firing squad and branded it as intolerable.
The situation found a receptive audience among Yellow Vest protests that are sweeping France and neighboring Belgium on Saturday.
People in yellow vests in Paris, Marseille and even Brussels are kneeling before officers, riot police and armored vehicles, amid tear gas.
That’s how they express solidarity with these 150 teens with backpacks from Mantes-la-Jolie who were arrested.
The gesture has probably become another symbol of the whole movement, aimed to make the government finally listen to the voices of the people, not the rich.