France is burning. The country is currently in the grip of widespread protests and riots that have led to violent…
France is burning.
The country is currently in the grip of widespread protests and riots that have led to violent conflicts with the police, which led to hundreds of injured and thousands of dollars being injured for property.
The protests began around November 17, 19659004 when French drivers sporty yellow vests led a demonstration of 280,000 people across the country to drive back on rising taxes on gas and diesel. The French president Emmanuel Macron announced the new gas tax earlier this year as part of a broader plan to minimize France’s dependence on fossil fuels.
The tax will increase the price of fuel by about 30 cents per gallon and continue to rise Over the next few years, the French government says. Gas already costs about $ 7.06 per gallon in France.
The protest movement ̵
1; known as the gilets jaunes, French for the “Yellow Wests” protesters carries – blocked streets and highways, burned cars and braked the police in response to the price hike.
In recent days, however, protesters have begun to control their frenzy on France’s economy, and on Macron’s leadership in the country in general.
Saturday saw one of the worst days of turmoil yet, with the third big-scale riots in Paris described by some as urban warfare and “the worst riots of a generation.” Around 133 people were injured – including law enforcement officials – and approximately 412 were arrested. The French Interior Ministry said it had to deploy 37,000 police officers, 30,000 firefighters and 30,000 gang members, members of the armed forces of the ministry, to fight the protest.
But the movement has spread to many parts of the country – and in some cases became fatal.
On Saturday a protestor in the southern port of Marseille threw a tear gas can through a home window and killed an 80-year-old woman. Three other people have also been killed since protests began, according to the police.
Yellow jackets also blocked the availability of 11 fuel depots for the French energy company Total, resulting in 75 of the company’s 2 200 gas stations running dry. And Macron’s government estimates that stores and restaurants have lost between 20 and 50 percent of their expected revenues since the demonstrations began.
The protests have not shown any signs of stopping – in fact, they are escalating. The French government says that around 136,000 people participated in a nationwide protest on Sunday. And on Monday, students of 100 schools across the country demonstrated against educational reform.
The growing movement has caught the attention of many around the world, including at least one American celebrity with some anti-Western tendencies:  I deny violence … but what is the violence for all these people and burned luxury cars in comparison with the structural violence of the French and global elites?
– Pamela Anderson (@pamfoundation) December 3, 2018
And it has taken a very busy Macro government, which has made little progress in stopping the uprising.
Macron tweeted on Saturday that he “always respects the protest” and “will always listen to the opposition” but added: “I will never accept the violence.” He held a security meeting with his highest staff on Monday and the country’s prime minister plans to meet with representatives of the “yellow west” movement on Tuesday.
But gas tax or educational change no longer seems to be the main reason for French people protesting – It is mostly because of Macron itself.
Jeff Lightfoot, an expert on France at the thought tank at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, told me last week there are two main reasons Macron has become such an opropic figure.
The first is that he does not have a political base. He is a Parisian technician who saved a wave of dissatisfaction with traditional French political parties for the presidential elections in May 2017. He has not received much support outside urban areas yet.
So one of Macron’s major political responsibilities is that he does not
The other reason, unfortunately for Macron, is that things have become bad in the country economically.
France’s economy is growing, but very slowly. Most of the growth is centered in its major cities, like Paris, and others in the periphery and in rural communities have not seen so many gains. Additionally, France’s rural population is much more related to cars than its urban residents, which is why many in these regions seem most angry with gas tax.
“Ask a Parisian – for him, none of this is a problem, because he does not need a car,” Marco Pavan, a truck and taxi driver in a small town near the border between France and Switzerland, told the Washington Post on Saturday . “We live on the side of a mountain,” he continued, “
People’s anger with the elites has risen in recent months, saying Lightfoot, partly because Macron may come out as arrogant and out of touch. “He’s ashamed of open people,” Yves Rollet, a French retiree, also told the post on Saturday.
It does not help Macron, in an effort to reform France’s economy, cut long-term benefits and end work protection. For example, he has made it easier for companies to employ and fire employees and fought unions to terminate subsidies for certain sectors.
Therefore Macron looks like a prime president, Lightfoot said: He initiates changes that many of the country’s wealthier can confuse, but the poorer country may not.
That means that Macron will be in protest crosses for quite some time, especially since he has not stated that he will bow to his demands. It is therefore possible that some of his political rivals – such as the higher right-wing Marine Le Pen, resembling tensions by claiming that Macron can shoot demonstrators – can benefit from public abuse and become the premier alternative to Macron.  France’s viewers are quite nervous about what’s going on not only in the coming days but well into the future. “It will be an uneven few years to come up,” Lightfoot said.