Disinfo: French authorities set up violence at peaceful Yellow Vests’ anniversary rally


The strategy of order enforcement chosen by the prefect of Paris has been highly criticised. He wanted the Yellow Vests’ demonstration to start at Place d’Italie, an area under construction which contains construction equipment, often thrown by the thugs and who, surprisingly, were there since the early morning.

Controversy is also growing over a video clearly showing “two people framing a third man, all dressed in black, who were behind the line of CRS [riot police] who let them pass whilst repeating: ‘This is the BAC, it is the BAC [branch of the criminal police in France]’,” as noted by Liberation’s CheckNews. That led to accusations about police infiltrators within the thugs.

All this was wanted by the government only to destroy the anniversary of Yellow Vests. It’s worse than a fracture. It serves the dictatorship that is being put in place.


Biased conspiracy theory coverage of the Yellow Vests' one year anniversary protests in Paris. Speaking about the video proving the presence of law enforcers in civilian clothes among protesters (assumed by the French police itself), the article quotes the French newspaper Liberation and its CheckNews service. The video is supposed to "feed the accusations" that the police infiltrated the thugs. In reality, Liberation states the contrary, debunking those accusations. This is what Libération actually writes:

"It should be noted that beyond the infiltration of police for intelligence missions and arrests, commentators also accuse police officers of infiltrating the rallies only to organise violence and to help to destroy the image of the movement in public opinion. This is particularly the case of the yellow vest François Boulo, who claims to have seen disguised policemen turning over a car, and he goes to imagine that 'police-thugs' were able to degrade the stele of Marshal Juin. No elements in CheckNews' possession support such accusations."

No evidence is given to support other claims that the Paris city hall conspired to tarnish the Yellow Vests' anniversary.

It is worth recalling that the Yellow Vests presented their candidates' list for the European Parliament elections in 2019, which would be impossible under a dictatorship. According to Freedom House, the French political system features vibrant democratic processes and generally strong protections for civil liberties and political rights.

See more disinformation cases linked to the Yellow Vests. The analysis of the Russian disinformation media's non-stop coverage of Yellow vests and also of the manipulated social media discussions can be read here.


  • Reported in: Issue 174
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: France
  • Keywords: yellow vests, Dictatorship


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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