On the 17th consecutive weekend of anti-government demonstrations across France, one group of Yellow Vest protesters broke into and trashed a Masonic lodge in the French village of Tarbes.
Around 450 protesters had gathered in Tarbes on Saturday with some shouting “we’re going to the freemasons!”
The French government have accused the protesters of “stupidity” and “intolerance.”
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Meanwhile other demonstrators staged a ‘flashmob’ at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, waving French flags and dancing in one of the terminals.
Hundreds of ‘pink vests’ also joined the yellow for marches in Paris on Saturday, donning pink tops, childcare workers turned out against a reform of their unemployment subsidies.
RT reports: A smaller crowd of protesters marched on the Masonic temple, with one battering down the door of the secretive organization’s clubhouse. More protesters pelted rocks at the building and eventually the group forced its way inside. They overturned furniture, trashed the esoteric art hanging on the walls, and stole four ceremonial swords; they gave these back later on.
À #Tarbes, des #Giletsjaunes saccagent le temple des Francs-Maçons … https://t.co/teXKEcy1ah pic.twitter.com/hPI3Sk9inV
— Ulysse Paris (@ulyssepariser) March 10, 2019
Police have opened an investigation, and France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner condemned the vandalism.
“After the Jews, the Freemasons,” he tweeted, alluding to alleged anti-Semitism within the ranks of the protesters. “When stupidity encounters intolerance, it is the worst.” Castaner also accused the Yellow Vests of having “no other project than hatred.”
Après les juifs, les francs-maçons…
Quand la bêtise rivalise avec l’intolérance la plus crasse.
Je salue l’intervention rapide de la @PoliceNationale qui a mis fin aux exactions de ces individus qui n’ont d’autre projet que la haine.
Ne lâchons rien.https://t.co/ytr2YGqfZ0
— Christophe Castaner (@CCastaner) March 10, 2019
Across the country, somewhere between 28,000 and 90,000 protesters took to the streets on Saturday to voice their opposition to the policies of unpopular president Emmanuel Macron, which, they say, benefit the rich but not the majority. Some 2,000 protesters have been injured and dozens maimed in clashes with police since November.
The movement’s organizers have planned a massive demonstration for next Saturday, timed to coincide with the end of President Macron’s three-month ‘Great National Debate,’ a public forum aimed at quelling the tide of dissent in France and forging “a new contract with the nation.”
The Yellow Vests have mostly focused their attention on Macron’s economic policies, and have not singled out the Freemasons as a target. However, the Masons’ secretive nature and powerful membership have made the organization a target for popular anger in the past and has fueled countless conspiracy theories.