Ollie Richardson

is creating fair reporting on the "Yellow Vests" movement



About Ollie Richardson


My name is Oliver Richardson and I am a British citizen and. For the past 5 years I have been working with various media outlets as an independent journalist for the purpose of drawing the attention of the general public to the catastrophic living conditions in war-torn countries. In 2016 I moved to Paris for the purpose of working with a Ukrainian human rights organisation, which involved the preparation of documents concerning human rights violations in Ukraine that were to be sent to the United Nations, European Parliament, OSCE, Amnesty International, and various governments.

In November 2018, whilst I was living in Paris, serious social unrest started to spill out onto the streets of France. A movement called the "Yellow Vests" (in French: "Gilets Jaunes"), which consists of people from all walks of life who feel aggrieved by the austerity policies of Emmanuel Macron's government, started to begin systematic protests against the weakening of purchasing power and the increasing cost of living. I watched the first 14 protests via a live feed and was horrified by what I was seeing: the police were shooting the "Yellow Vests" in the face/eye with rubber bullets (LBD-40/flashball), striking women with truncheons, dragging peaceful protestors along the floor, throwing grenades at protestors, flooding entire avenues with tear gas, etc. This has resulted in protestors being blinded, mutilated, burnt, crippled; hands have been blown off, eyes have been lost, lives have been ruined. All of this has happened despite the fact that the right to protest is enshrined in not only the French constitution, but also the European Convention on Human Rights.

After seeing on a live feed a Yellow Vest's hand being blown off, from the 15th protest (Act 15) onwards I travelled every Saturday - when the "Yellow Vests" habitually protest - to the center of Paris in order to observe and document what was happening. Since this moment onwards I myself have been struck by a grenade (grenade de désencerclement), stopped and searched more times than I can remember, and felt on my own skin the general level of governmental repression and violations of human rights. What was most shocking for me was the total silence of the mainstream media in relation to what was happening in France. Some agencies either completely fail to give the "Yellow Vests" any coverage, and others exhibit a very biased position and do not give the movement the fair coverage it deserves.

In order to try to breakthrough this lamentable state of affairs in the English-speaking media, and since I could see that there was a interest in this topic, I started to write articles about the "Yellow Vests" movement and use my social media accounts to disseminate information far and wide. I created a series called "Inside the Yellow Vests: What the Western Media Will Not Report" in order to give interested persons a unique perspective vis-a-vis the movement:

Part 1: http://thesaker.is/inside-the-yellow-vests-what-the-western-media-will-not-report

Part 2: http://thesaker.is/inside-the-yellow-vests-what-the-western-media-will-not-report-part-2/

Part 3: http://thesaker.is/inside-the-yellow-vests-what-the-western-media-will-not-report-part-3/

I also published a report on a serious incident that I witnessed in Paris in June 2019: http://thesaker.is/yellow-vests-the-undercover-cop-scandal-that-the-macron-regime-tries-to-cover-up/

These articles have proven to be very popular and have been translated into different languages and reposted on different websites (here is an example in French). I also created special truncated versions of these articles and posted them on Twitter as threads. With the limited resources at my disposal, I have produced various videos on the topic of the "Yellow Vests":

A video report from Act 19:

A video showing people the unique experience of the "Yellow Vests" in the Parisian metro:

A translated and subtitled video explaining what motivates the "Yellow Vests" movement:

A translated and subtitled tribute to the mutilated "Yellow Vests":

A translated and subtitled video of Francois Boulo - known as the lawyer of the "Yellow Vests" - explaining why the "Yellow Vests" want a new system of governance known as Citizens' Referendum Initiative (Référendum d'initiative citoyenne):

During the time that I have been covering the "Yellow Vests" movement, I have become acquainted with many figureheads (the movement does not have designated leaders, but rather persons who are more active on social media than others) and learnt a lot about the "nuts and bolts" of the movement. At the same time, I approach my work from a scientific point of view and consider that preserving a sense of perspective is of paramount importance. I.e., a human rights violation is a human rights violation, regardless of where on the planet it happens.

The reason I have created this fundraiser is because I very much want to continue to report on the "Yellow Vests" movement and what is happening in France in general. Too often the Anglophone mainstream media has closed its eyes to the French government's violations of human rights, and I don't consider that this trend will change for the better. However, the huge hike in the cost of living in France - the same hike that provoked the social unrest - is making it very difficult for me to accomplish what I want to accomplish - to give the "Yellow Vests" fair coverage in the English language. The cost of using the metro alone has increased by 30%. Covering the events on Bastille Day (July 14th) in Paris was difficult in itself, since I had to cover events amongst what I can only describe as chaos.

The means raised by this fundraiser will help me to:

  • Continue writing and publishing my "Inside the Yellow Vests" series of articles;
  • To continue to observe what is happening not only in Paris, but also in other cities in France (the cost of a train ticket has also increased), and also to attend conferences (on the topic of the RIC, for example) and other "Yellow Vests" events;
  • To run an English language live stream (probably via Periscope) for "Yellow Vests" protests (I know there is "Ruptly", but the more watching eyes, the better);
  • Start intensive work on translating into English, and publishing, information about the main demand of the "Yellow Vests" - Référendum d'initiative citoyenne. The aim is to synchronise my work and the information that the "Yellow Vests" publish. This may entail the creation of a dedicated website along the lines of what you see here, but in the English language. The details haven't yet been decided, but I intend to do the RIC work nevertheless, since I consider that it is very important for other countries to have access to reliable information about this alternative to conventional party politics. I also would like to translate parts or chapters of this book on the same topic;
  • To create a website dedicated to the topic of the "Yellow Vests" and what is happening in France. All my videos, photos, reports, and the work of "Yellow Vests" themselves (translated into English) would be published here. (UPDATE: I HAVE NOW CREATED THE WEBSITE, WHICH CAN BE FOUND HERE);

  • To be able to live, simply.


Twitter: https://twitter.com/O_Rich_

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