French fuel protests marred by death, injuries as well as homophobic and racist abuse

Date: 
November, 2018
Country: 
France

France's "yellow vest" protests over the last three days have been marred by demonstrators being killed and injured, but also by incidents at road blocks that saw some drivers targeted by racist or homophobic abuse. In some cases protesters fought among themselves.

The movement has been under fire after videos were broadcast showing protesters shouting racist abuse at ethnic minority motorists. In Cognac in the southwest a black woman driver was told to “go back to your country”, while in Saint-Quentin in eastern France, a Muslim woman was forced to remove her veil.

Frustration at the massive traffic delays spilled over at the weekend as an Australian road haulier was detained after trying to drive through a barricade in Calais. Separately, a British motorist was also taken to the town’s police station and questioned after allegedly injuring two protesters at another roadblock.

The lead organiser of the blockade said he was shocked by the incident. "That's not normal. I am against it. We will stop all this," he told local media.

In the town of Cognac in western France a black woman was reportedly the victim of racist insults.

"Go home, go back to your country", "get lost" were some of the insults shouted at her as seen in a video published in La Charente Libre newspaper.

The video below shows the altercation between the woman and protesters, with one reportedly shouting "we don't want to hear about the history of black people anymore".

Source: The Local