Paris fears new protest, vi­o­lence de­spite Pres. Macron’s re­treat

Cebu Daily News - - WORLD -

PARIS — Paris po­lice and store own­ers were brac­ing for new vi­o­lence at protests Satur­day, de­spite Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron’s sur­ren­der over a fuel tax hike that un­leashed weeks of un­rest.

Po­lice unions and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties were hold­ing emer­gency meet­ings Thurs­day to strate­gize — while dis­parate groups of pro­test­ers were shar­ing plans on so­cial net­works and chat groups.

Af­ter the worst ri­ot­ing in Paris in decades last week­end, many shops and restau­rants in the cen­ter of the cap­i­tal are ex­pected to shut down on Satur­day, fear­ing a re­peat of the vi­o­lence.

Macron on Wed­nes­day agreed to aban­don the fuel tax hike, but pro­test­ers’ de­mands have now ex­panded to other is­sues.

Protest­ing stu­dents were dis­rupt­ing schools and uni­ver­si­ties on Thurs­day, and driv­ers were still block­ing roads around France, now de­mand­ing broader tax cuts and gov­ern­ment aid.

A small union rep­re­sent­ing po­lice ad­min­is­tra­tive per­son­nel called for a strike on Satur­day, which could fur­ther com­pli­cate se­cu­rity mea­sures this week­end. Other po­lice unions were not talk­ing about strikes — but ev­ery­one has been wor­ried about se­cu­rity risks in the face of a move­ment with no clear lead­ers whose protests are eas­ily hi­jacked by trou­ble­mak­ers of all stripes.

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