A local branch of French President Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche! (LREM) has demanded that a Facebook page belonging to the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) be removed due to “hate messages.”
The LREM branch in the department of Sarthe, the 72nd department in France, has demanded that Facebook remove the group “Colère 72” (Anger 72) over “hateful” messages directed toward LREM MP Marlène Schiappa, France Bleu reports.
The group, which has been active since the start of the Yellow Vest Movement in November, is currently under investigation according to an LREM press release which stated that the Le Mans public prosecutor was looking into the group over allegations of disturbing the public order.
The party added that they had collected several hateful messages posted on the group’s page including threats of violence toward Ms Schiappa who recently said she wanted to know the details of those Yellow Vest movement supporters giving money to a legal fund for boxer Christophe Dettinger who fought barehanded with riot police last week in Paris.
“The question I asked is: who finances the rioters? Foreign powers? The question is not is not incongruous, given the positions of Italian officials,” Schiappa said earlier this week.
The Colère 72 Facebook group has so far not been taken down by the social media giant despite the request from the LREM branch and boasts well over 27,000 members.
Facebook and other social media platforms have been a key tool for the Yellow Vest Movement which is largely organised online.
While the Yellow Vests have made substantial gains and forced President Macron to make concessions on issues from raising the minimum wage to fuel tax hikes, the protests are still scheduled to continue Saturday.
The movement has recently championed the idea of citizen-initiated referendums which would allow citizens to vote on laws, repeal laws, remove elected officials from office or even amend the French constitution by popular referendum.