An “unprecedented” action plan, including almost all of the staff of the mobile gendarmerie (local police forces), will be deployed on Saturday in France for the action day of the so-called “gilets jaunes” or “yellow vests”. The announcement came on Friday, from the Director General of the National Gendarmerie, Richard Lizurey.
General Lizurey stated, on the free-to-air channel CNews, “Tomorrow (Saturday), we will see the engagement of 106 squadrons out of the 109 across the entire national territory, both in mainland France and the overseas territories… An operation of this magnitude is entirely unprecedented. Previous operations conducted engaged up to a total of 90 squadrons.”
He went on, “It is linked to a situation which is exceptional, for which it is our duty to prepare calmly and with determination.”
Richard Lizurey further explained in detail, “We have mobilised all of the mobile gendarmerie but also gendarmerie from the various départements. All units of the gendarmerie have been mobilised. Overall, 60,000 gendarmes will be devoted to maintaining public order and also managing daily policing activities, as everyday police will not be having a break from their public safety duties.”
During last weekend’s day of action on 1 December, peppered with spectacular violence and damage in particular in Paris, “around between 35,000 and 37,000” gendarmes had been mobilised. He added, “We have stepped up the alert level of the GIGN (the elite police tactical unit of the National Gendarmerie) and the various branches of the GIGN in the provinces.”
As announced by the Prime Minister, 12 gendarmerie armoured vehicles (“VBRG”) will also be deployed in the capital. In total, 89,000 police and gendarmes will be mobilised on Saturday across France, of which 8,000 will be within the Paris region.
The 1 December demonstrations in Paris, which brought together some 8,000 people, caused 133 injuries (of which 23 were police), and led to 412 arrests.