Contributed by Joe Montero
Yellow vests protest continued throughout France for the fifth week over the weekend. This is despite some concessions made by President Macron. This has not been enough. They want him to resign.
This movement has evolved into much more than a protest against a tax on fuel, to become a force calling for a major change. Perhaps this is best summed up in that there is a call for an end to government for the rich, to government for the majority. Ordinary people are seeing their living standards declining and don’t want this to continue
French President Emmanuel Macron announces a series of financial measures including a rise in minimum wage to appease the Yellow Vest protesters after four weeks of nationwide demonstrations.
Video from TRT World
A new feature is that the Yellow shirts have inspired similar movements through Europe Belgium and as far away as Canada and Israel.
Video from the BBC News
Back in France, police have continued try to break up demonstrations with tear gas, water cannon, rubber bullets and flash bombs. Side street approaches, Metro rail stations and freeways leading into Paris were blocked, in order to prevent protesters from joining the main group.
The following shows protesters kneeling with hands over their heads last week, being suddenly attacked by police. This adds credence to the allegations that the riots have been sparked off by the police.
Video from the South China Morning Post
Video from Ruptly
Along with the hard-line stance on the streets, Macron is betting on a divide and rule strategy. The hope is that a moderate wing of the Yellow Shirts will split off, leave the streets and accept what’s on offer. Whether this is having a major effect at this point is questionable. A lower turnout in Paris this weekend is cited by much of the media to suggest otherwise. There are other explanations. Organisers had the yellow shirts to focus on regional towns instead of Paris and this is the last week before Christmas.
The number of Yellow Shirts in Paris is still big.
Video from RT
This is not over by a long shot. The momentum continues and protests will resume after Christmas, where the numbers are expected to build again.
It should be clear to Macron by now, that heavy handed policing is not working. If he doesn’t listen and concede much more, the political crisis will go form bad to worse. What is going to happen is anyone’s guess. The only sure thing is that France will not go back to where it was in November.
Can the police continue. It is already known that many of them already sympathise withe the Yellow Shirt movement. If this goes on too long, it may result in officers becoming less reliable and st6art ti cross over the line.
The implications of this go much further than France. People power can make all the difference.