France’s ‘yel­low vests’ mo­bi­lize for fresh round of protests

Iran Daily - - International -

Thou­sands of anti-govern­ment demon­stra­tors marched in cities across France on Saturday in a new round of “yel­low vest” protests against Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron, ac­cused of ig­nor­ing the plight of mil­lions of peo­ple strug­gling to make ends meet.

Of­fi­cials have vowed zero tol­er­ance for the vi­o­lence that has marred the weekly protests since they be­gan two months ago, de­ploy­ing some 80,000 se­cu­rity forces na­tion­wide, AFP re­ported.

In Paris, epi­cen­ter of the fiery street clashes and van­dal­ism that have made global head­lines, 5,000 riot po­lice were on hand, us­ing tall bar­ri­cades and ar­mored ve­hi­cles to lock down the cen­tral Place de la Con­corde and sur­round­ing dis­tricts.

Hun­dreds of of­fi­cers were also on guard on the Champs-el­y­sees, where banks, jew­elry stores and other shops had boarded up win­dows in an­tic­i­pa­tion of re­newed loot­ing and vi­o­lence.

Yet many cafes and re­tail­ers on the iconic av­enue re­mained open for busi­ness, as sev­eral thou­sands of pro­test­ers marched calmly from the Place de la Bastille to­ward the Arc de Tri­om­phe early in the af­ter­noon.

Many sang the “Mar­seil­laise” na­tional an­them, while oth­ers held signs say­ing “Inse­cu­rity is not a job!”

At times the crowd yelled “Free Christophe!” in ref­er­ence to Christophe Det­tinger, the for­mer pro­fes­sional boxer ar­rested last week after be­ing filmed bash­ing two po­lice of­fi­cers dur­ing the Paris demos.

Po­lice said some 30 peo­ple had been de­tained in the cap­i­tal ear­lier for car­ry­ing weapons or other charges.

“We’ve come to Paris to make our­selves heard, and we wanted to see for our­selves at least once what’s go­ing on here,” said Patrick, 37, who told AFP he had trav­elled from the Savoie re­gion of western France.

‘Macron re­sign!’

Po­lice fire tear gas in the south­ern city of Nimes, France. PAS­CAL GUYOT/AFP

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