How have the protests es­ca­lated?

The Guardian Weekly - - Spotlight -

The French in­te­rior min­istry says the to­tal num­ber of peo­ple demon­strat­ing has dropped since its peak on 17 Novem­ber, when about 285,000 peo­ple demon­strated across France. On 1 De­cem­ber, two weeks af­ter the first protests, the in­te­rior min­istry said that at 3pm 75,000 peo­ple were on the streets. It is thought that about 100,000 in to­tal demon­strated in France through­out the day.

How­ever, vi­o­lence has es­ca­lated at the weekly Paris protests held on Satur­days. While thou­sands demon­strated peace­fully on 1 De­cem­ber, about 3,000 peo­ple fought run­ning bat­tles with po­lice, burned more than 100 cars, set fire to sev­eral build­ings and smashed bank win­dows and shopfronts on some of the most ex­pen­sive streets in the cap­i­tal.

Au­thor­i­ties blamed ex­treme-right and ex­treme-left “pro­fes­sional” ri­ot­ers. There were also vi­o­lent clashes with po­lice in Toulouse.

A poll for Har­ris In­ter­ac­tive con­ducted af­ter last Satur­day’s vi­o­lence in Paris found 72% of French peo­ple con­tin­ued to sup­port the gilets jaunes but 85% said they dis­agreed with the vi­o­lence in Paris.

The protests

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