Riots In France: Overview

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Riots In France: Overview

A demonstrator walks past a fire during a protest of Yellow vests (Gilets jaunes) against rising oil prices and living costs on the Champs Elysees, in Paris, on December 1, 2018. Photo by Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

For the third Saturday in a row, on December 1st, there were protests throughout France.

The protests began on November 17th, hundreds of thousands French citizens took to the streets all around the country, initially protesting sharp fuel hikes on fuel and diesel levied to reduce emissions and push people toward more environmentally friendly vehicles.

A tax, which was approved in 2017 raised the fuel price by 7.6 cents per liter on diesel and 3.9 per liter on fuel. In addition to another increase in October 2018, citizens’ finances were hit hard. There is also another increase planned to take place on January 1st, 2019 – a further 6.5 cents per liter of diesel and 2.9 cents per liter of fuel.

The protests were mostly organized on social media. A petition that began circulating online in May to lower fuel prices generated over 300,000 signatures by mid-October. However, the French government gave no signal that it would walk back on its policy.

Truckers created a Facebook event in October to block roads to Paris on November 17th and nearly 200,000 people replied they were interested.

Protesters blocked roads and highways, fuel depots, shopping centers, and some factories as an estimated 300,000 people took part in the first protest across the nation. The demonstrations left two dead and more than 600 injured.

The symbol of the current movement is the yellow vest. Motorists in France have been required since 2008 to keep the reflective, high-visibility vests — “les gilets jaunes” in French — in their vehicles.

On the following Saturday, November 24th, protesters once more took to the streets. This time there were less people nationwide. According to French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, 106,000 people had taken part in protests across France, and 130 had been arrested, 42 of them in Paris. The Paris police prefecture said there were 19 injured, among them four gendarmes.

Protesters were reportedly infiltrated by “far-right extremists”, as well as rioters and hooligans tore up paving stones and hurled them and other missiles at police before building barricades that they set alight. The police in turn used teargas, pepper spray, water cannon and bulldozers to clear the road.

The demonstrators had been told to stay at the official protest site designated by the French authorities – the Champ de Mars by the Eiffel Tower – and to keep away from a number of sensitive sites in the city, including the Champs Élysées and Place de la Concorde near the Elysée palace.

In the second week of protests there was an apparent shift – people were not simply protesting over fuel prices, they were protesting because they were having difficulties making ends meet and were blaming French President Emmanuel Macron’s government for that. France’s centrist government blamed the far right, who along with other politicians blamed Macron.

On November 24th, public opinion of Macro was down to 26%, on December 2nd it was estimated at 20%.

Macron condemned the protests on Twitter, following the second weekly demonstration: “Shame on those who attacked (police). Shame on those who were violent against other citizens … No place for this violence in the Republic.”

However, it appeared that there was in fact more place for violence in the Republic.

The protests on December 1st saw clashes between around 8,000 protesters and 5,000 police officers in Paris. Authorities fired tear gas and water cannons, and they used stun grenades, this resulted in one death, at least 133 injuries and over 400 arrests. In total, around 136,000 people attended the protests nationwide, according to the Interior Ministry.

The Champs-Elysees was overrun by protesters, many of them looting storefronts and burning cars and debris. Perhaps the best expression of the anger and frustration in the country could be seen at the Arc de Triomphe, which was defaced with graffiti reading messages including “Macron resign”, “Overthrow the bourgeoisie!” and “Yellow Vests will triumph.”

Demonstrations outside of Paris on all three occasions were much more peaceful. However, many called them the worst in over a decade and there are even speculations of the unrest leading to a civil war.

Once more, the focus was on fuel prices, however it had also evolved in a general dissatisfaction of the French government’s policy. Many citizens believed that the fuel taxes, aimed at slowing down climate change are putting undue strain on the people, especially on the middle class.

Those who do not live in cities are reliant on cars to get around and say the new policies, set by the political elite, unfairly target and harm those outside of the country’s urban conclaves. At the same time, city residents are concerned about rising taxes and costs forcing them to the suburbs, where they’ll face the same problem.

“We are talking about cost of living and [French President Emmanuel] Macron is talking ecology,” protester Joffre Denis was cited by Bloomberg.

Famke Krumbmuller, a political consultant based in Paris, explained who was angry in an interview with NBC News.

“The white middle class, the forgotten middle class in France,” he said.

Many of them believed the taxes they pay were high, but little was given in return in terms of social benefits that are largely designed to aid the poor, and that they are being left behind by Mr Macron’s policies. The President was pegged as “President for the rich” by protesters after slashing the country’s wealth tax last year.

Recent polls have showed that between 70 and 80% of French people support the protests.

“I’ve worked on monuments around Paris for 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like this at the Arc de Triomphe. It was carnage,” a Paris City Hall official said while overseeing the Arc de Triomphe’s clean-up. French authorities and namely Castaner, are claiming that extremists on the right and left, as well as “suburban thugs” infiltrated and hijacked the protests leading to violence.

Macron, who was in Argentina for the G-20 summit, during a press conference in Buenos Aires said that he would never accept violence. “No cause justifies that authorities are attacked, that businesses are plundered, that passers-by or journalists are threatened or that the Arc de Triomphe is defiled.”

On December 2nd he returned to Paris to view the Arc de Triomphe and hold emergency meetings with French Ministers. Macron claimed that he would keep the course.

“What I’ve taken from these last few days is that we shouldn’t change course because it is the right one and necessary,” he said. French authorities are also reportedly considering declaring a state of emergency.

Macron did make one concession – he would try to introduce action to adjust tax hikes when oil prices spiked, to ease the strain on French pockets.

He claimed that he was in charge and he would make decisions in the following months. But he said he would “pursue with force” his reforms “without giving up ambitions” or “giving in to demagoguery.”

“It will be up to me to make additional decisions in the weeks and months to come, but they will never be retreats but rather, for this moment, more intense,” he said.

Opposition politicians condemned the violence but also criticized the government’s response. “The government is not entitled to a third black Saturday,” said Senate President Gerard Larcher, amid warnings that protests could resume in Paris next weekend.

Far-right and far-left leaders Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon called for new parliamentary elections.

It is also complicated to negotiate with the protesters, since they have no clear leadership. Delegates from France’s ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters turned down a planned meeting with Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on November 30th, because it wouldn’t be filmed. “I have repeatedly asked that this interview be filmed and broadcast live on television. This was refused,” said Jason Herbert, one of eight members of the delegation

Emmanuel Macron is not up for re-election until 2020, however, even if the protests stop, the anger will continue simmering. It is up to speculation what will happen next. Some Macron critics even speculate that a resignation is not completely out of the question if the escalation continues.

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  • François

    As French I can say that all this mess is in fact rather suspicious, simply because this move started announced in advance by main TV channels. Most of “Revolutions” happen to be frequently set up by financial “Elites” so to implement more oppression: French Revolution in 1789, Russian Revolution, China, Chile….
    I think French Government would be very pleased to instore emergency state so to increase control on population

    • Benoit Balderacchi

      People are just tired to pay more and more tax for public services less and less efficients with a state never listen at them. And there is many years ago the province scolds: the state ask them paying more and they see all the proximity service be closed one after other, so they need cars to live now. Nobody do anything for them.

      See the CSG increase who strike each worker to compensate gifts made to big enterprise of tens of billions a year… politicians laughed when the olds complain about the decrease of their retirement pension and the deputies just take an exception for their profession and their profession only because in a year they also had the time to see what happen on their own
      pay sheet. It is not acceptable then they ask to people doing always more financial efforts since decades.

      Don’t see conspiracy every where, it’s a mental illness. And don’t forget that Macron be elected by only 32% of the citizens with about a half who only want to prevent the FN from gaining power. It’s the baddest elected president since under the 5th republic !

    • Benoit Balderacchi

      And as the protesters have no leaders, and yellow trade unions are out of the movement, the
      government cannot stop the thing easily.

      • government already jailed 500 ppl who were so naive and joined this yellow false-flag :D

        • Sinbad2

          You seem pretty sure that this is a fake revolution, but what has Macron got to gain by doing this?
          Macron is an employee of Rothschild, so it seems unlikely that he would want to willingly remove a tax burden from the poor.

    • Concrete Mike

      Interesting.merci for your point of view.

    • When some color revolution starts, you can smell Soros and Rothschild behind it.
      Yes, yellow vest revolution is perfect example of color revolution and it is staged, because they don’t want real revolution without anybody from their “team” in the control.
      There are Rotschild’s and Soros’s payed provocateurs for sure in the yellow vest “revolution”.

      This is only testing of the mobs and of their power.
      France was lost many years ago with all those immigrants and leftists.

  • Snowglobe

    When I saw this I thought that it was a good sign. When the police take their helmets off to show agreement with the people it is a good thing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlY_9cyDwv8

    • staged for media. anything in mainstream is damage control only. don’t believe them as they are your fucking enemies.

      • Snowglobe

        What you say is entirely possible. This video first appeared in a twitter feed and then it was put onto YouTube. Like always, it is entirely possible that it is a fraud.

      • Snowglobe

        …and yes, the media is my fucking enemy. ;-)

    • Sinbad2

      It was when the army joined the protestors in 1789 that the French revolution started.
      Lets hope the French once again lead the world in banker executions.

  • hvaiallverden

    Yeah, when something finaly happens, what do some people do, drool.
    In stead of been a ppart of it, they whine about whom is behind it, where do they come from, and so on, all to tire to undermine anything that is and have the potential do in fact make thing happen, but no, they insist this is something obscure, that, is the possition of an spinelless creep, witch will never get anything other then utter contempt from me, always.
    They do and thied the same scam on the Catalans, and I always have the amount of countradictions, fake claims, as an messurment of how serious They think this de facto are/was. ilutions crreated becuse of some other countrys having “revolutions” and then prodject it all to this one is NOT helping anyone and specally when this movement resonates whith what I feel and know what we the people eventually must do, take an stand, witch scares the so called pussy-right, whom have balls to yell about bombing others but have not the balls to go your self out and so the right thing, f….. cowards.

    I have, obviously you dont.

    The second thing is the MSM, and our politicians.
    Do notice, when this happened in the Arab eh…. spring, for exactly the same reason, unberable cost of living, they, the Gov and the prestitutes where extatic, but when this happens in France, thru massive Gov and NGOs scamms like AGw to the refugee scam, the bill thrown upon us all and yet you do nothing, huh, other than riddicouling the Yellow Vests,

    When the Arab eh…… spring happened the same scums hailed anyone whom stud up against the ruling Gov, or dicks as they claimed them to be like Gaddafy, like heroes in an epic battle, but when the same problem ucures at home, the go total oposit, and pimps twisted images, narratives and people to feed their rotten cause witch is to undermine the movement, that is what happens as we speak.

    And why isnt it reported about snipers, I have seen videos, and they look f…. real, the way that person fell, tels me it was shoot thru the head, fell traight down, but no.

    Yeah, and I recomend people to stop reading wakees sites, an people totaly brainwashed thru decades have nothing to contribute in an debate like this, since they are drooling idiots anyway.
    Viva la France, hell, you got more balls than I thought you had, and for once I am happy to be wrong.
    Kick ass

    peace

  • meridius

    It several ways is perhaps better the spontaneous revolt does not have a designate leader; that would be for me an indicator someone behind the scene is pursuing a hidden, nefarious agenda; besides leaders are likely to be arrested and imprisoned or shot by the those in power. Keep up the pressure French and don’t let go till these globalist running the show against the French middle and lower class are usurped from power. 52% of French did not vote at all in 2015 presidential election, and from those who voted, 34% voted for Le Pen. The numbers are on the side of the rebellion.

    • Barba_Papa

      Of course spontaneous revolts never succeed BECAUSE they have no leader. Because the leader is a focus point, can rally the protesters, coordinate them and negotiate on their behalf. Without a leader popular uprisings are almost always put down. Unless the army defects. But that only tends to happen when there is a leader who can offer them a better deal.

      • meridius

        I agree that any revolt needs leaders to succeed. However, I do not think that the current regime in Paris has any interest in negotiating with any opposition leaders. Bolsheviks never negotiate. They only kill. They killed millions in Russia , they would have no qualms in killing a few hundred or thousand if need be in France or anywhere else where the traditionalist dare challenge the postmodernist ( neo Bolshevik) status quo.

    • spontaneous revolt is an oxymoron

  • Lazy Gamer

    Macron should avoid giving out cakes then. lol He was right to be worried because any more increase in fuel brings more riots. lol
    He should abandon the taxes and subsidize those green cars. Hold back on war, etc. There are other ways to do ecology and economy.

  • hvaiallverden

    yeah, look at this video, snipers shooting on people, and watch is carefully, several shoots is fired.
    Watch the angle, etc, and they even use tracer amo.
    Dont forget, low calibre is the standard sniper rifle, and that because of the silencer, and so on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJv5VKyDoWk

    The thing is, all tho this movement is all over France we watch ONLY Paris, and that is for an reason, because its where the powers are, and I dont give an rats ass for buring cars, thats just cars and why they burn is irrelevant but the MSM incl some so called Russian uh…. sites also aply this “thughs” narrative and drools something about petrol prices of course they still think we are idiots, tsk, tsk, tsk.

    Fasinating isnt it, one of the head scumbags, the insanely evil and an war criminal per exelance, Levy (of course, an Jew) also drooled something about this people been criminals while the same rat is one of the artictects behind this uh….. Arab spring, the westen backed scam to take down anyone they dont like and is the ones responcible for our land been overflown by rats from everywhere, they have no shame and moral other than do what the Tribe tells them to do, just look at this pathetic excuse of an human begin, MaCrony, along with N. Zackofshit they should simply hang, because all this rapes, vioelce, deaths followed by the invasion of rats, shoudl and is by all norms avaiable guilty, and should be dragged out and hung, and if they dont comply, just burn it all down, no mercy, since no mercy was either given nor shown, to the people of France.

    And fo course, when creeps like this ISISraeli bitches like G. Wilders and the equally rotten Le Pen should be chased away the moment to apear, they are traitores as well, rightwingers have always been behind the CorpoRats, cheep labor, undermining the rights of the Frenc people, and I gues, nothing is imporving, because they are an part of the problem, untill they all are removed and put in people whom puts France first, second and third, just throw them out, otherwise everything is in vain.

    Never give in and never give up and an warning, compormising is loosing, this time, no compromize what so ever, either then comply, end this AGW scam,and austeritys with that I mean also the invasion of the so called refugees, witch in it self is an million dollar ind, living and feeding on this refugee scam, NGOs etc to politican insane people whom wants millions more to invade our lands, whom is going to pay for that, you and me and our children and their children, and so on.
    MaCrony is an RothChild bitch an banking scumbag, and thats why He dont care, continues to drool in their own reality, looks more and more like the revolution, an elite completely detached from reality, and their solutions even more detached from the real world, and the future looks bleek unlees this scums are stopped.
    Kick ass.

    peace

  • Well, assholes in France voted 50 years for global elites, leftists and Rotschild’s scums and now they are surprised by declining of their living standards ?
    Why they didn’t made their homework before presidental election ?

    Why they voted for “product” Macron, ex-Rotschild bankster instead of Le-Pen?
    Because he is a bloody elitist, Zio loyalist, geronto-zombie-necrophilia-homosexual deviant and France loves deviants ?
    So they have now deviant in charge and now they are protesting for what reasons?

    By the way, Rothschild is one or two moves ahead of yellow vests as people are protesting only against his puppet, not real culprits.
    And don’t forget gunban. All protesters in France are unarmed because leftists grabbed all guns from citizens.

    If Rotschild decides to use army, the riots are over.

    I’m only wondering why mainstream didn’t blamed Russia and Putin already.