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French Authorities Arrest One Of Yellow Vest Protest Leaders


Late on January 2nd, French Police arrested Eric Drouet, one of the leaders of the Yellow Vest protests, for allegedly organizing a protest in Paris without declaring it, according to an unnamed source at the police office, local FranceTvInfo reported.

There are several angles showing the arrest:

L'arrestation d'Eric Drouet !

Posted by En Cause on Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The outlet also reported that Drouet and around 50 other people had arrived at the square to light candles for those injured during the yellow west protests. Apart from the opposition figure, a lot of other participants of the campaign have been detained for identity checks.

Eric Drouet already faces a trial in France, following his arrest on December 22nd for the illegal possession of a police baton and participation in a group established for the purposes of violent activities.

On December 6th, he was the one who allegedly suggested that Yellow Vest protesters should enter the Elysee Palace, the French Presidential Residence.

A French politician, Jean-Luc Antoine Pierre Mélenchon condemned the arrest calling it an “abuse of power,” in a tweet.

He further condemned the “silencing of the people’s voices” and called for the release of Drouet and others:

The yellow vest protests began on November 17th against an increase in fuel tax, which significantly increased fuel prices in France. They have taken place each Saturday since and have left at least 10 dead and 500 injured, with more than 2,000 protesters arrested.

On December 5th, the French government backtracked on its plan for the fuel tax increase. However, protests had already evolved in general protests against rising costs of living and against French President Emmanuel Macron, claiming that he protects the interests of the rich.

On December 10th, Macron addressed the nation on television. More than 21 million watch as a sombre-looking president accepts his “share of responsibility” for the crisis and outlines a series of financial measures, including a rise in the minimum wage and tax-free overtime pay.

Protests still took place on December 15th, albeit in fewer numbers, about 66,500, with numbers going above 100,000 nationwide in previous protests. There were still sporadic clashes. On December 21st, the French Senate approved measures to help the working poor and pensioners just hours after they were adopted by the lower house of parliament, which should come into force early in 2019.

On December 22nd, even fewer people came out – the official figure was about 38,600, with a focus on border crossing points with Germany, Italy and Spain. There was some violence in Paris.

The final protest so far happened on December 31st, mixed with New Year’s Eve celebrations. Approximately 150,000 police officers were deployed across the country.

It came as Macron said during a televised New Year’s address that the movement’s protests would not persuade his government to abandon its economic agenda.

“Positive results from his policies “cannot be immediate,” the French leader said, pledging to make changes to France’s national unemployment insurance and pension system.

He called for “recovering unity” and the “efforts of everybody” in 2019.

Macron also denounced as a “negation of France” a “heinous crowd” that has mingled with the yellow vest protesters to spread hate speech about “police forces, journalists, Jews, foreigners, homosexuals,” the Sun reported.

Despite dwindled in numbers the protests show no promise of ending. If they do continue, the next likely date is January 5th.




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