France is preparing for more anti-government protests from "Yellow West", which put the nation on high alert as tens of…
France is preparing for more anti-government protests from “Yellow West”, which put the nation on high alert as tens of thousands of security forces were deployed to prevent the demonstrations from becoming violent.
The Eiffel Tower and other tourist brands in Paris were closed on Saturday, the stores boarded to avoid robbery and street furniture were removed to prevent metal rods being used as projectiles.
President Emmanuel Macron’s government has warned that protests will be hijacked by “radicalized and rebellious” crowds and became the most dangerous after three weeks of demonstrations.
Macron announced earlier this week that the planned hikes on gasoline and diesel taxes, which led to the protest movement, should be terminated immediately. However, prominent protesters have said that they will sink in Paris anyway, with a broader set of economic requirements, including tax breaks and wage increases.
About 89,000 police officers were deployed throughout the country. Of these, about 8,000 were deployed in Paris to avoid a repetition of last Saturday’s humility, when rioters burned cars and robbed shops outside the famous Champs Elysees Boulevard, defeating the Arc de Triomphe with graffiti directed against President Emmanuel Macron.
Protests, using social media, have billed the weekend as “Act IV” in a dramatic challenge to Macron and his government policy.
Interior Minister Christopher Castaner said he expects radical elements to be present in Paris and that “the last three weeks have given birth to a monster that has escaped its creators.”
But protesters believe they are fighting for a fair cause .
“It’s an increase in people’s rage, and it’s caused for one reason ̵
1; government policy that only seems to take from the poor to keep the rich,” said Taha Bouhafs, an activist in Paris to Al Jazeera .
The authorities say that protests have been hijacked by right and anarchist elements that bowed to violence and raise social concerns, in direct opposition to Macron and the security forces.
An Elysee official has intelligence suggested that some protesters would come to the capital “to vandalize and kill”.
Eric Drouet, one of the protesters’ initiators, urged people to protest against roads and highways surrounding Paris, “where there is nothing to break and nothing to destroy” but where they can “scream out” their anger.
Macron, who has not spoken publicly since he condemned last Saturday’s disruption at the G20 summit in Argentina, will target the nation to the next
On Friday evening, he visited a police group in his barracks outside of Paris.
Navigation on its biggest crisis since elected 18 months ago, Macron has left it largely for its Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, to deal with the public with concern and offer concessions.
But he is under pressure to speak more completely, as his administration tries to regain the initiative after three weeks of unrest that was worst since the 1968 students’ upturn
The French retail trade on Friday put the cost of protests on its members on close to $ 1 billion according to the Financial Times.
Can Macron survive the greatest challenge for its presidency?