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Only a few weeks ago, a 51 year-old mother from the Morbihan, Jacline Mouraud, who describes herself as “une chanteuse et chercheuse d’ectoplasmes” posted a rant on social media. Over the following days she accumulated at least six million supporters. Opinion polls suggest 70% of French opinion is with her.
So was born the “Gilets Jaunes” movement which for the second weekend running has fomented widespread disruption throughout France and dominated national news channels. The Gilets Jaunes show their solidarity by wearing the high viz jacket, that every French motorist has to carry on the dashboard of their car. If they take to the streets, they wear their gilets. They see themselves as representing la France periferique, the country and the middling suburbanites who attempt to get by on very little.