In a second demonstration in Geneva this year, several hundred “yellow vests” (gilets jaunes) protestors gathered outside the United Nations headquarters on Saturday to denounce police violence and defend their right to demonstrate in France.
Early Saturday afternoon, some 800 gilets jaunes supporters from France gathered in Geneva as part of what has been called “Act 42” of the protest movement that started in November 2018. This is the second gathering of the movement in front of the UN after one in February drew similar numbers.
“We went around France in August to encourage people to come to Geneva to denounce police violence,” Chloé Frammery, Geneva’s co-organizer of the action, told Keystone-ATS.
A file with evidence of violence committed by French police since November was delivered to the UN Secretary General. A copy of which is also slated to be handed to the Office of the High Commission on Human Rights.
The file includes records of injuries due to the use of batons, tear gas grenades and encirclement by law enforcement officials, in violation of French and international law, Frammery noted.
Protestors condemn police use of military weapons, particularly the riot control weapon LBD40, which is manufactured in Switzerland and has been used against many protestors in France.
Chanting “Thank you Switzerland”, protestors thanked the local police for their restraint. Phrases such as “Macron resignation” or “There’s nothing good about Macron” were written on the vests. Two women were dressed up as “sans-culottes” from the French Revolution as “symbols of the people who rise up for their rights,” one of them explained.
In February, some 600 to 1,500 gilets jaunes gathered in Geneva to call for the UN to send observers to see police treatment first-hand. In May, the facade of the French Consulate in Geneva was stained with yellow paint by a solidarity group.