Several members of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement attempted to storm the southern French presidential retreat of Fort de Brégançon after rumours spread of the presence of President Emmanuel Macron at the fort.
Around 40 members of the anti-Macron protest movement, which has seen actions across the country for weeks, gathered in Bormes-les-Mimosas after a call was put out on social media for members to gather and attempt to take and occupy the fort, Var-Matin reports.
The Yellow Vests formed a column of cars and attempted to drive to the fort while being supervised by local police and gendarmes. The group was ultimately stopped on the D42d departmental road by around 20 Gendarmes who had blocked off the entrance to the presidential retreat.
Undeterred, several protestors attempted to enter the fort through the nearby beach, while others made their way through the woods surrounding the fort. The protestors were once again blocked from entering the fort by Gendarmes officers and turned away, promising to return after a discussion with the officers then left the area without incident.
Explained: Why Do the France Protesters Wear Yellow Vests? https://t.co/1FHKARdijY
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The attempt to occupy the fort comes after it was revealed that President Macron had become so fearful of Yellow Vests storming the Elysee palace earlier in the month that he had requested a helicopter be ready to evacuate him from Paris. The French leader had also fortified the palace and deployed 500 republican guards along with another hundred or so police officers.
While the Yellow Vest protest violence has calmed since the height of the protests earlier this month, the movement has not gone away despite concessions from Macron on the minimum wage and tax exemptions for overtime pay.
The concessions have been met with some positive response among the Yellow Vests, but not from the European Union who slammed the move with European Union Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger saying the French leader had “lost authority with his budget for 2019.”