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Paris in lockdown as France braces for new anti-Macron riots

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Paris in lockdown as France braces for new anti-Macron riots

By Michel Rose

 

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Protesters wearing yellow vests occupy a traffic island near the A2 Paris-Brussels motorway as part of the "yellow vests" movement in Fontaine-Notre-Dame, France, December 7, 2018. The slogan reads "Macron Resign". REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

 

PARIS (Reuters) - Paris was in lockdown early on Saturday with thousands of French security forces braced to meet renewed rioting by "yellow vest" protesters in the capital and other cities in a fourth weekend of confrontation over living costs.

 

The Eiffel Tower and other tourist landmarks were shut, shops were boarded up to avoid looting and street furniture removed to avoid metal bars from being used as projectiles.

 

About 89,000 police were deployed across the country.

 

Of these, about 8,000 were deployed in Paris to avoid a repeat of last Saturday's mayhem when rioters torched cars and looted shops off the famed Champs Elysees boulevard, and defaced the Arc de Triomphe with graffiti directed at President Emmanuel Macron.

 

Protesters, using social media, have billed the weekend as "Act IV" in a dramatic challenge to Macron and his policies.

 

The protests, named after the high-visibility safety jackets French motorists have to keep in their cars, erupted in November over the squeeze on household budgets caused by fuel taxes.

 

Demonstrations have since swelled into a broad, sometimes-violent rebellion against Macron - a challenge made more difficult to handle since the movement has no formal leader.

 

Authorities say the protests have been hijacked by far-right and anarchist elements bent on violence and stirring up social unrest in a direct affront to Macron and the security forces.

 

Nonetheless, the 40-year-old Macron, whose popularity is at a low ebb according to polls, has been forced into making the first major U-turn of his presidency by abandoning a fuel tax.

 

Despite the climbdown, the "yellow vests" continue to demand more concessions from the government, including lower taxes, higher salaries, cheaper energy costs, better retirement provisions and even Macron's resignation.

 

One of them, Eric Drouet, a truck driver, called on protesters to storm into the Elysee presidential palace. An Elysee official has said intelligence suggested that some protesters would come to the capital "to vandalise and to kill".

 

Macron, who has not spoken in public since he condemned last Saturday's disturbances while at the G20 summit in Argentina, will address the nation early next week, his office said.

 

On Friday evening, he visited a group of police in their barracks outside Paris, his office said.

 

Navigating his biggest crisis since being elected 18 months ago, Macron has left it largely to his prime minister, Edouard Philippe, to deal in public with the turmoil and offer concessions.

 

But he is under pressure to speak more fully as his administration tries to regain the initiative following three weeks of unrest that are the worst since the 1968 student riots.

 

In a sign the concessions offered by the government may be starting to weaken support for the movement, two opinion polls showed a decline in popularity for the "yellow vests" on Friday.

 

The protests were supported by 66 percent of respondents in an Ifop-Fiducial poll for CNews TV, down six percentage points since a previous poll carried out on Dec. 3-4.

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-12-08
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Nothing more than professional protestors and looters. 

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I am amazed that 300,000 demonstrators can control a country of many millions. Weren't those higher fuel taxes designed to help alleviate climate change according to the Paris Accord? 

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Ah..ze Fwench..

 

If they had put 30 per cent of their energy into defending their country in May 1940 instead of their usual useless rioting then the results of the the Great War (part 2) might have been slightly different.

 

If they riot over a Camembert-who cares?

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If you’re not happy do a vote and leave Europe- called a majority or not vote - if you want/ decide to leave then all the UK has now problem wise called a referendum 

 

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7 hours ago, rooster59 said:

Nonetheless, the 40-year-old Macron, whose popularity is at a low ebb according to polls, has been forced into making the first major U-turn of his presidency by abandoning a fuel tax.

 

Until 2020.
"Let them walk."
"Let them car pool."
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19 hours ago, Nilats said:

But it confirms what French as a whole think of Macron... I actually definitely thought he was a total clown... not a clue how to run a country... and some people were saying that guy is the new "Bonaparte"... what a joke🙂 Further symptoms of the overall crisis of Power in Europe... there will definitely be more in the future even if this particular movement loses its momentum. The problem is that Europe doesn't really have a solution to this crisis of power and leadership, imo they will never find it.

If the alternative is  the far-right plague with Le Pen (a Putin and Orban fan),  or the far-left cholera with Melenchon  (a Chavez and Castro fan) - both walking jokes,

then I keep Macron " the total clown" without hesitation 

This Yellow Jackets movement has lost its momentum since it has been infested by both far-right and far-left  groups in synergy in this collective venting session.

The cost for France is huge. 

Edited by Opl

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22 hours ago, IAMHERE said:

I am amazed that 300,000 demonstrators can control a country of many millions. Weren't those higher fuel taxes designed to help alleviate climate change according to the Paris Accord? 

 

You are right. However these taxes mostly hit people living in the sticks or far away from big city centers, usually people who have a low income. At the same time, people in the big cities do not even need to own a car, as they have public transport available just down the corner : easy for them to push for high fuel taxes as they are not concerned.

 

This is what sparked things off ; macron's arrogance, lack of empathy, contemptuous comments, did the rest.

 

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Macron is currently reported as having an approval rating of only 20%. People are also asking, why the French didn't vote for Le pen at the last election. The current state of France almost kind of points to a stolen or rigged election. As the saying goes, it's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes.
Also, there's a lot of online comment it's not just about the new gas tax, this is just the straw that broke the camel's back. It's about immigration and all the attendant problems accumulated over the last few years.
People are sick of the government sponsored invasion of their countries and the resultant high taxes to pay for it.

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On 12/8/2018 at 3:58 AM, Ulic said:

Nothing more than professional protestors and looters. 

 You might have something there.

  Initially it was about the gas tax, a bad tax IMO. because a tax on gas is a tax on everything , since everything has to be transported by gas using trucks, adding an additional cost to the  final product that would eventually be passed along to the consumer. 

   But by now I am afraid, the movement has being usurped by the fat right , and is being used to bring down the Macron government. You can guess for what goals.

  

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