Paris police continued to clash with the group of protesters called the “Yellow Vests”. In some news reports, the group is called the “Yellow Jackets” which refers to the color of the vests they wear while in action.
The protest action versus the government of embattled President Emmanuel Macros has entered its fourth week and has become more violent.
French Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, announced that 135 people were injured including 17 police officers. He added “exceptional” security measures made it possible for the officers to put almost 1,000 people in custody.
Castaner estimated that 125,000 demonstrators gathered around the country with 10,000 members of yellow vests joined the protest in Paris.
Tensions escalated as some protesters were seen throwing rocks and glass bottles at police officers who have resorted to using tear gas to contain the crowd. Looters were also seen destroying shops and cars were set on fire.
Last week’s protests are considered to be one of the worst urban violence in the country since the May 1968 revolt. Officials prepared for “round 4” on Saturday which nonetheless turned out more chaotic than the previous protests.
The Yellow Vest protesters who are mostly working class people from the provinces, have gathered to call for Macron’s resignation over unpopular decisions including gas tax increase, tax cuts on the rich, and weakening economy.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe disclosed that the government and the protestors were already working toward a peaceful resolution to the conflict:
“The dialogue has begun. It is now necessary to rebuild the national unity.”
President Emmanuel Macron has distanced himself from the chaos while his administration works to address the protesters’ concerns.
The Opposition has heavily criticized the president’s silent approach while protesters are jilted over Macron’s seemingly lack of efforts to understand the root of their anger.
Meanwhile, in the wake of violent protests U.S President Donald Trump tweeted the following message in social media:
“Very sad day & night in Paris. Maybe it’s time to end the ridiculous and extremely expensive Paris Agreement and return money back to the people in the form of lower taxes? The U.S. was way ahead of the curve on that and the only major country where emissions went down last year!”
When he won the French presidency over Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron was touted as the new face of globalism.
Ironically, he might be its end.