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Yellow Vest Protests Continue into New Year

Yellow Vest Protests Continue into New Year
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As many as 50,000 people showed up this Saturday to participate in the eighth consecutive weekend of Yellow Vest protests in France – that’s more than double the turnout of the initial demonstration. 

Protestors in Paris clashed with police, flipped cars, set fire to motorbikes, and used a forklift to smash into a government building. 

“Once again, extreme violence has attacked the Republic,” lamented French President Emmanuel Macron. “Those who commit these acts have forgotten what lies at the heart of our civic pact. Justice will be done. Everyone must now pull together and help pave the way for debate and dialogue.”

Rumor has it Macron is planning to remove Paris police chief Michel Delpuech over his failure to quell the violence. Later this month, his administration will hold a series of consultations with the public to begin negotiations and reduce violence. 

At least 10 people have been killed during the protests, which began in November over a gas tax increase intended to reduce CO2emissions. Over the past two months, the protests have evolved into a full-blown revolt against Macron and his plans for a free-market overhaul. 

In addition to Macron’s resignation, protestors want to see:

  • Increased purchasing power for the middle class
  • The reimposition of the wealth tax
  • Lower fuel prices 

“The strength of the movement is that it can bring everyone together in a way that’s almost naive and apolitical,” explains Paris local Patrick Coudeyrette. “It’s a true representation of the people.”

Despite the high turnout last weekend, polls suggest that overall support for the movement has dropped to 55% (down from as high as 70%).

On Sunday, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called on the Yellow Vests to give up the violence in the interest of the economy. “I would like all of those who believe in Democracy, in the sovereign representation of the French people to come together and say ‘enough,’” he said. “The crisis is costing the French economy dearly…our interest is for this to stop as soon as possible.”

On Monday, two leaders within Italy’s coalition government urged the Yellow Vests not to give up.

“I support honest citizens protesting against a president who governs against his people,” said Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right Northern League.

“Yellow vests, do not weaken!” added Luigi Di Maio, leader of the populist Five Star Movement.

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4 Comments

  1. Donald Gitschier

    Please refrain from political talking points when writing, this was far more than a gas tax. This was about giving to the welfare state out of working folks pockets, through taxation and no representation. Brussels runs the EU, not folks like Macron.

    Reply
  2. Ed Wheeler

    Bring out the guillotines, the French want some politicians’ heads to roll. It will serve the politically-correct crowd right for raising taxes to address some crackpot theory promulgated by Al Gore and company.

    Reply
  3. DP

    Macron is a buffoon blaming the police chief for his socialist policy gaffes! Socialism and the higher and higher taxation of the working class that goes with it will always incite a revolution by the people, as we have seen across history many, many times! The problem with socialism is..you end up running out of other people’s money. Macron should review the history of economics to understand what he is doing wrong. Global warming and CO2 emissions are the biggest hoaxes out there.
    Warming and cooling climate trends are not man made as research scientists have proven, and man cannot control it..they cycle through via weather and geophysical changes like volcanic activity and have done so prior to industrialization.

    Reply
  4. ronal rocco

    finally so proud of the French people, the everyday go to work people who are fed up! with the

    Reply

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