‘Yellow Vests’ march through Paris in 10th weekend of protests

Protesters wearing yellow vests take part in a demonstration by the
Protesters wearing yellow vests take part in a demonstration by the “yellow vests” movement, in Paris, France, January 19, 2019. The sign reads “Media State Propaganda”. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

January 19, 2019

By Noemie Olive

PARIS (Reuters) – Five thousand “Yellow Vest” demonstrators marched through the French capital on Saturday, marking a tenth consecutive weekend of protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s government.

Protesters assembled by the Invalides esplanade near the Assemblee Nationale parliament and marched through the city’s Left Bank. The demonstrations were peaceful, although many shops had nevertheless shut in case of trouble.

A police source said there were around 5,000 protesters in Paris, some of whom gathered near the Champs Elysees, while there were similar demonstrations in major cities across France.

“Macron, resign!” some of the protesters shouted.

Some had also made coffin-type objects to denote the deaths of 10 people so far during the protests, mainly due to accidents when demonstrators blocked roads.

The “yellow vest” protests – named after the fluorescent jackets French motorists must have in their cars – began in November over higher fuel taxes.

Those fuel taxes were subsequently scrapped, yet the movement has morphed into a broader anti-Macron protest.

December’s demonstrations wreaked some of the worst violence seen in decades in Paris, as rioters burned cars and damaged shops and businesses.

Protests so far this month have not witnessed the same level of trouble, although video of a former French boxing champion punching and kicking police in Paris shocked many.

Macron has launched a series of national debates to help quell public discontent and restore his standing.

(Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Emmanuel Jarry; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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