Sunday, November 18, 2018

Gilets Jaunes/Motards en Colère Demo 17 Nov 2018

Starting point at the Zenith (my photo). The noise was incredible!

On a very unprepossessing day for a demo when enthusiasms could be easily be dampened by rain, drizzle, and dark heavy clouds, over 1000 bikers grouped together at the Zenith (concert hall) car park just outside Montpellier. There were local bikers, bikers from Béziers, Nimes, Lodève and Aveyron, and the noise was deafening! There were of course the hotheads who revved the engines of their sport bikes to create as much noise as possible, but even just the number of large engines all running at the same time made a low level rumbling that was quite incredible.

The demo had been declared at the Préfecture so it was all legal and above board, and as a result, we were escorted by the gendarmes and police (who are themselves bikers and car owners) although of course, they could never show us any visible support...

On the A709 (my photo)
We crawled onto the A709 which was totally empty, the Gilets Jaunes having blocked all the entrances to the motorway. Half-way along our route, we met a number of cars crawling along in the other direction, with much tooting, honking and yelling support.

I woz there! Wet but having a merry time.

From the motorway, we came off at Montpellier Ouest, and made our way along Avenue de Toulouse and Gambetta towards the Place de la Comédie. The atmosphere was relaxed, everyone was smiling. The cortège was very impressive, and many young lads along the way were delighted to see it, nudging each other and pointing.

Avenue de Toulouse waiting for the police to clear the roads ahead (my photo)

Our destination was the Esplanade in the end rather than the Place de la Comédie which is like an ice-rink in the rain. We parked all the bikes on the Esplanade and walked up to the Préfecture. After some stirring words by the boss of the Motards en Colère de l'Hérault, a small contingent of 5 bikers was met by the Préfet's representative to have a nice cup of tea and chat (I expect...).

I had a rdv so had to bugger off at that point, but it was an amazing experience being among so many bikers on such a day of mobilisation.

What was it all about? Basically the people are being blamed and taxed for the mistakes of government policy over the last 20-30 years. We drive petrol/diesel cars because all the clean car patents were bought up and squashed by either the energy companies or car manufactures, and it's now our fault that we drive polluting cars.

The French government is incapable of self-analysis to discover areas for improvement, and takes no notice of the Cours des Comptes which regularly points out scandalous public spending wastage.

So everything comes back to inventing ever more taxes, a ruthless money-making scam campaign against road users, and punishing the retired because they are no longer 'productive' (except for looking after grand-kids, being active members of every single charitable association, caring for others, etc.), and the rise in petrol taxes was just the last straw.

The French are always being criticised for being 'des veaux', just accepting what is imposed on them, but there comes a point when they say 'enough is enough', and that point was reached and expressed during the demonstrations.

Here is a resumé by Midi Libre of the day's demos in the whole region here: RESUME.

Here is an analysis in French of the whole mess that France has become: HERE.

And a little video of our own motard demo with sound.


  1. Friends living in the countryside are public transport making a car essential as there are no reliable car sharing schemes there and now yet another scam to raise tax.

    1. That's exactly what it feels like. Scam after scam to fleece drivers.

  2. Good for you, making a stand in such a way.

    I remember years ago travelling to Le Touquet when hordes of motorbikes were on the roads, returning from a bike event. It was so thrilling, hearing the noise of the engines, though a bit scary when we reached the town and couldn't move! Dougie got out of the car to ask a policeman help us find our hotel but he had been drafted in from Paris so had no clue!

    1. There's another demo this Saturday evening. I think I might join in with that too. :)


Comments are bienvenue.