Walking for the climate ", between the end of the world and the end of the month, we do not choose!"

A demonstrator of the climate march took place on Saturday 8 December in Paris.
A demonstrator of the climate march took place on Saturday 8 December in Paris. VAN PIROSCHKA OF WOUW / REUTERS

At the subway exit, Place de la Nation, Maëlle distributes funny little flyers. "Here are the instructions for non-violence"said the activist in his green t-shirt Alternatiba, one of the Paris Climate Climate organizing associations. "No, but it's okay, we're not violent"a young couple answers, surprised. "No, no, it's if you ever degenerate, to reduce the pressure" says Maëlle, to dispel any misunderstanding.

The piece of paper lists some "safety instructions". In the first place, "Maintaining a calm attitude in all circumstances: no abrupt action, having a vocabulary and a calm and understanding tone". Secondly, "Do not respond to violence: do not throw objects, insults, screams".

For fear of overflowing the mobilization of "yellow jackets", Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, flanked by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and the former minister and still an icon of ecology, Nicolas Hulot, had given a & # 39; another instruction: do not go to manifest.

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

If the first order was followed to the letter, the second one was largely trampled by thousands of people parading peacefully on Saturday between nation and Republic, at the time of COP 24 in Poland and where other events were organized in France and at the time. abroad against climate change. As in previous marches, in September and October, bears and gorillas beat the sidewalk, swinging to the rhythm of the percussion and the bandas. The novelty of this Saturday 8 December was feared at high risk, the presence of "yellow jackets" in the procession and a word of order as a battle cry: "Climate, social, even struggle!".

Yellow jackets joined the climate march on Saturday 8 December in Paris.
Yellow jackets joined the climate march on Saturday 8 December in Paris. VAN PIROSCHKA OF WOUW / REUTERS

"Let's change the system, not the climate". The poster is in unison with its gilet: fluo yellow. Benoit, 40, left his flurry on the Tourville-la-Rivière roundabout in Normandy to take part in the Paris climate march. "We're not stupid, we did not get on the Champs-Elysees to be gassed"Benoît explains, employed in a pharmaceutical group.

"We are here for the climate and against the excesses of the capitalist system, we are all yellow jackets.

"The convergence of struggles is under way"

Elodie, Cécile and Sophie also wore yellow jackets. The three hikers are colleagues from the University of Créteil. They distribute stickers at a fork. "Between the end of the world and the end of the month, we do not choose!"he said that the sticker in reference to a famous television weapon passes between a yellow jacket and Nicolas Hulot. Last Saturday, Elodie was demonstrating in the Champs-Élysées district. But today, no question of losing the march for the climate. Since September, he has made them all. "We want to oppose the two movements, but we only look at the slogans and the people who are parading today: the convergence of the struggles is under way". He wants to believe Elodie.

To the success of the singers refrains: "GDP is outdated, the growth of unconsciousness", "One million jobs for the climate, the solution is right there." A banner distributed by the Attac association remembers: "No climate justice without fiscal and social justice". A protester suggests on the back of his yellow vest "Make the rich pay for the ecological transition".

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

Cécile is a member of a collective fight against atmospheric pollution. " It took me a long time to understand but we will never get there unless we send everyone. Why the fight against climate change requires significant social changes ". In the procession, next to the ecological associations, the flags of the Solidaires trade unions or the PCF flutter in the wind, the pensioners touch with the students and then with the yellow jackets.

"Yoan, a yellow jacket, he had to talk but he's stuck somewhere, we're sorry."sorry Pauline, microphone in hand, on the stage improvised at the arrival of the march Place de la République. We salute all the jackets! Hurray in the crowd. Without a yellow jacket but a blonde under the two-colored cap, the actress Marion Cotillard did not want to go out. "I'm here for my children and the children of my children's children, she confides in world. I am here to tell governments that they can not remain deaf to this call for change from a drifting system ".

With him, the director and environmental activist Cyril Dion. He had called the "yellow jackets" to join the climate march. "It's a first step, congratulates Cyril Dion. The first lesson we can learn from this day is that we have to stop playing fear politics. There will be other episodes. A few hours after the end of the march, when the Piazza della Repubblica emptied of its "green jackets", clashes broke out between the police and several protesters with and without "yellow jackets" entered the battle with a slogan less solidarity: " Macron, resign! ".

Read also The mobilization of citizens for the climate takes root

Stéphane Mandard

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