Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

73-Year-Old Yellow Vest Activist Injured by Police, Scolded by Macron

Macron scolds an elderly yellow vest activist that was brutally beaten by the police.

Taylor Walker

April 5, 2019
Facebook Twitter Share
Genevieve Legay at a yellow vest protest in the city of Nice. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)

As the Yellow Vest protests in France entered their 19th consecutive week, an elderly woman waving a rainbow ‘Peace’ flag was attacked by police at a demonstration in Nice. Three days later, on March 26, as she lay hospitalized with a fractured skull and five broken ribs, President Macron had this wisdom to offer the 73-year-old activist: “When one is fragile, and one can get knocked around, one does not go to forbidden places and put oneself in situations like this one.”

He went on to note that “this lady was not in contact with the forces of order,” despite video evidence of both the clash and the aftermath in which police can be seen preventing medics from intervening as she lay bleeding and unconscious.  The “lady” in question is Genevieve Legay, and her story highlights the exceptional harshness of the repressive measures taken against Yellow Vest protesters.

Since the protests began, violent repression of the kind perpetrated against Genevieve has been a regular occurrence.  At least 2,000 have been injured overall – more than were injured during the civil unrest, demonstrations, and general strikes of May 1968. The most serious injuries – maiming, disfigurement, and brain injuries resulting in comas – have been caused by riot-control devices like rubber pellet guns and stingball grenades. A confirmed count of casualties by the Against State Violence collective indicated that 111 protesters had been seriously wounded by the first week of January – well before Genevieve went out to “demonstrate [her] right to protest.”

The level of violent repression against Yellow Vests has only increased. The lead-up to week 19 was marked by reports of 5,000 armed soldiers tasked with “anti-terror” duty in response to planned demonstrations.  A French military general noted that soldiers “may open fire” if lives are at risk.

The Yellow Vest movement began on November 17th, triggered largely by a fuel tax increase, but rooted in general discontentment among a huge cross-section of people drawn together against worsening economic inequality – a trend ongoing since the 80’s but sent into overdrive under Macron. Thousands of roads were barricaded and 280,000 demonstrators were in the streets within the first five days. During this time in France, 75% of the population supported the movement while Macron’s approval rating hovered at 28% (lowest of any French president since 1958).

Facebook Twitter Share


A Russian tank fires toward Kharkiv on the May 10 offensive against Ukraine.

Russia’s Offensive in Ukraine May Be a Turning Point in the War

Russia’s May 10 offensive in Ukraine may be a turning point in the dynamics of the war, and the specter of Ukraine’s defeat is exposing the cracks that divide the Western powers.

Claudia Cinatti

May 21, 2024

Nancy Fraser, Jacques Rancière, Silvia Federicci and many others say: Stop the Criminalization of Palestine Solidarity in France!

Anasse Kazib, a union activist and former presidential candidate, was recently interrogated by French anti-terrorist police. In this open letter, more than 800 prominent intellectuals and activists call to stand united against the criminalization of Palestine solidarity.

A mash-up of Macron over a palestinian flag and articles detailing the rising repression

Against the Criminalization of Opinion and in Defense of Our Right to Support Palestine: We Must Stand Up!

In France, the repression of Palestine supporters is escalating. A conference by La France Insoumise (LFI) has been banned; a union leader has been arrested and charged for speaking out for Palestine; court cases have increased against those who “condone terrorism”; and the state has stepped up its “anti-terrorism” efforts. In the face of all this, we must stand together.

Nathan Deas

April 23, 2024

Occupy Against the Occupation: Protest Camp in Front of Germany’s Parliament

Since Monday, April 8, pro-Palestinian activists have been braving Germany's bleak climate — both meteorological and political — to protest the Israeli genocide in Gaza, and the unconditional German support for it. 

Erik de Jong

April 20, 2024


Two large signs that read "UC Divest from Genocide" and "Gaza Solidarity Encampment" behind the two signs a "UAW on Strike sign" pokes out

Dispatch from Day 2 of the UC Santa Cruz Picket Line

Left Voice member and City University of New York worker Olivia reports on the second day of her trip to Santa Cruz for UAW 4811’s historic strike to talk to workers.

Olivia Wood

May 25, 2024

Why Won’t PSC-CUNY Stand with Palestine Now?

While other higher education unions are going on strike in defense of their workers and against the genocide in Gaza, the bureaucratic leadership of PSC-CUNY just crushed a resolution calling on the university to divest from Israel and to drop the charges against Palestinian activists arrested on April 30. 

James Dennis Hoff

May 24, 2024

Attack on Pro-Palestinian Protestors at UMich Latest Example of Democrats Defending Israel’s Genocide in Gaza

Capitalist apologists from the Democratic Party have chosen their business partners in Israel’s far-right government over Palestinian lives. In Ann Arbor, those same so-called “progressive” Democrats decided to bring felony charges against protestors earlier this week, encouraging harsh police violence against the University of Michigan encampment.

Ryan McCarty

May 24, 2024
Activists in Detroit speaking at a press conference condemning repression of the pro-Palestine movement on May 20, 2024.

Detroit Activists Hold Press Conference to Condemn Repression of Pro-Palestine Protesters

Detroit Will Breathe organized a press conference to discuss the police violence and repression against pro-Palestine protesters. The movement must stand in solidarity and unite to combat the increase of repression.

Kyle Thibodeau

May 23, 2024