MACRON AND FRENCH CENTRISTS DON’T HAVE ANSWERS AS “YELLOW VEST” PROTESTS HEAD FOR 10TH WEEK | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


MACRON AND FRENCH CENTRISTS DON’T HAVE ANSWERS AS “YELLOW VEST” PROTESTS HEAD FOR 10TH WEEK

LAST NOVEMBER, THE French started a new Saturday tradition: “Gilet jaune” protesters wearing yellow safety vests started to take to the streets by the tens of thousands in the morning, shouting slogans against the high cost of living, against French President Emmanuel Macron, and against his detested taxes and social service reforms.

By the afternoon, the protesters would clash with riot police, who would fire round after round of tear gas and flash grenades to disperse them. By dusk, protesters would break windows of bus stations and storefronts, and sometimes light cars on fire before fleeing when the cops came. And from the middle of the night into the morning, the other “gilets jaunes” — street cleaners, often immigrants, who also wear the safety vests — would clean up the mess.

This past Saturday, some 8,000 protesters showed up for “Act 9,” or the 9th week, of protests, marching from Bercy in east Paris to the Arc de Triomphe in the west of the city, in an attempt to reach the Champs-Elysées. At least 85,000 rallied across France, marking the second straight week that turnout for the yellow vest protests increased following a dip during the holiday season. “I’m here because I’m a single mother, and I’ve been working for 20 years,” explained Stephanie, a 40-year-old public sector worker who marched in Paris. “After I pay my bills at the end of the month, I can’t even take my daughter out to the cinema,” she said.

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