France's yellow vests are starting to enjoy the radical life

Protests in Paris may have turned violent at times, but the Yellow Vest phenomenon is becoming something of a social event, at least in Villeneuve. The numbers at the roundabout have swelled to 100 or so on the weekends, with many more stopping by to chat or drop off food and coffee.

Mostly men, they range in age from mid-20s to late-60s and spend most of the day waving to passing vehicles and urging drivers to honk in support, which many do. Goyer said local police agreed to let them slow traffic “occasionally” but never block it.

Michel Simon, a soft-spoken 59-year-old engineer, said he joined the movement out of “solidarity” — he makes a decent living selling communications equipment and can’t really complain.

He’s upset at the salary and benefits that go to elected officials and now that he’s nearing retirement, he wants pensions indexed to inflation.