in Nantes, "we do not talk more about happiness, but about shareholder compensation"

The demonstrators kneel in front of the police in Nantes on December 8th.
The demonstrators kneel in front of the police in Nantes on December 8th. SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS / AFP

Start with an indolent warm-up round. One hundred "yellow jackets" collected at the Nantes ferry terminal (Loire-Atlantique), breathtaking views of the Loire. "The main thing is to be present, that people show themselves and are non-violent"says Florian Thin, 33, an entrepreneur in the field of sports. With a salary of € 2000 / month, Mr. Thin "The impression of being rich compared to many people, but I live like a monk: I do not drink, I do not smoke, I do not go out If I had children, then that would be another story, the question of power 39; purchase ".

He did not vote in the last presidential election, but almost lost the ballot for François Asselineau (editor's note: leader of the Repubblican People & # 39; s Union) in the first round. "That Macron will resign – he would not help, he is a pawn: The following would still apply the broad guidelines for economic policies dictated by Juncker's Europe." We need to find more sovereignty. "

The parade organizes a trotting tour of the city. At the moment, David Babin, a 46-year-old trader, does not hide his disappointment at the weakness of the mobilization. Father of a teenager, he earns € 1500 / month. He has worked in different trades, "Climbed the ladder and experienced air holes, unemployment, appointments at Pôle emploi, the RSA". He knows, he says, what it means "The galley" and requires a "Increase of purchasing power", through the revaluation of Smic and pensions. The one who did not vote in the last presidential wish "The dissolution of the National Assembly", claiming: "You need a bigger balance, it brings people rooted in real life who know the cost of things.

"He does not listen to us, he takes us from the top"

lashing "The arrogance of Macron"Mr. Babin does not ask for the resignation of the President of the Republic. "He recovered a damaged France", he observes, before annoying: "He does not listen to us, he takes us from the top, he has to understand that the suspension of higher fuel taxes is not enough, many people can not take their heads off the water."

Mr. Thin supports "Referendum of popular initiative" on all the main problems concerning people's lives. "It is urgent to worry about the welfare of citizens", He exposes. "Today we do not talk more about happiness but about the compensation of the shareholders."
Three hours later, the "yellow jackets", in many more numbers (1400 according to the authorities), take on colors thanks to the reinforcements of the climbers for the climate. We also see some floats from the CGT. Without forgetting, at the head of the procession, the anti-capitalist militants of the "Nantes revolt".

Read also Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse … update on "yellow jackets" in the regions

Defying the rain, more than 3,000 demonstrators converge in the prefecture. This time, the "Macron resignation" fuse. "I want the president's resignation and all his clique"Sandra, 47, from Nantes at the age of 47 after having had "Chained 40 CDD to the post office without being titled". "Macron insults me"scolds who voted Marine Le Pen in the two rounds of the presidential elections, Hollande and Sarkozy before. "He thinks we are beggars, illiterate, must be rejected, the rest will come later."

Eloïne, a 22-year-old woman from Nantaise who has voted blank, believes that "President Macron has forgotten he was elected by a few people". The young woman, unemployed "Despite BTS aesthetic management", ends "Every month in the open, but we must be well hosted and eat. The movement of "yellow vests" emanates, he says, a "Great brotherhood, people are approaching, talking to each other, we are in the same hive, we realize that we are not the only ones living in red all the time.

Lowered curtains

A little further, the crowd sings that "He's going to fart". Prediction only Near the prefecture, the voltage increases. The protesters enlisted the police and repeated themselves, kneeling on the ground and hands on the back of their necks, the scene suffered by Mantes-la-Jolie high school students during the past week. Soon, tear gas grenades and bullets follow one another.

The procession is rejected by the gas, then it is divided into scattered groups. Anticipating their passage, the traders abandon the tent. Four shops have broken windows. Urban furniture is degraded. The tension does not weaken. Also shoot tear gas. Violence, in the end, is contained, limited damage.

Read also "Yellow jackets": 125,000 protesters in France, 1.385 arrests

The damage is done from an economic point of view, observes Julien Bonnet, 32, manager of "La bonne Planchette", sportswear and sign of the skate. Its turnover is down 80%, like the previous Saturday. The young man says "You understand the anger that is expressed and the general fatigue but the situation penalizes everyone.For us, small traders, this should be the best month of the year.If in a week, it's the same thing, there are some who they will not recover.

At the end of the day, the prefecture announced that five policemen and three demonstrators had been "Slightly injured". Thirteen people were arrested. "If most of the participants showed calm, a hundred people were present for the sole purpose of attacking and breaking"deplores the prefect of the region, Claude d & # 39; Harcourt.

Yan Gauchard (Nantes, correspondent)

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