by Geoffrey Grinder, Now The End Begins:
After weeks of more moderate protests, France’s Yellow Vests are back in full swing following the end of President Macron’s unsuccessful ‘great debate’ – during which thousands of town halls were conducted over a two-month period in the hopes of solving national issues through citizen debates.
In recent weeks, the Yellow Vests in France had been holding protests that were drawing smaller amounts of demonstrators, leading to speculation that the movement had run its course. That assumption has proved to be false this weekend by the explosion of anger that led to one of the most violent demonstrations to date. Paris is indeed burning, and Macron is running scared.
In a feeble and ill-advised attempt to quiet the protestors, French president Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron held something he called the ‘Great Debate‘, which was the French equivalent of one of Hillary Clinton’s ‘listening tours‘. It was a dud, but it turned into a fireball. For those of you who are not up to speed on the reason for the Yellow Vests anger, it all started when France tried to add a Climate Change carbon tax to the price their citizens pay for gas for their vehicles.
Yellow Vests Turn Violent As Macron’s ‘Great Debate’ Ends
FROM THE DURAN: Up to half-a-million people participated in 10,000 meetings across the country to discuss social issues ranging from taxes – which the French pay the most of any OECD country in the world, to democracy and climate change.
“WE HAVE BEEN PATIENT BUT NOW WE WANT RESULTS,” YELLOW VEST LAURENT CASANOVA TOLD AFP.
And with no meaningful changes after nationwide cathartic venting, the Yellow Vests are back to angry demonstrations as the protests kick off their 18th week with an ‘ultimatum’ rally – marked by lootings, fires, and mayhem that organizers maintain are due to a radical minority.
Violence broke out on the Champs-Elysees Paris, where Paris riot police clashed with protesters, using tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd.
Some protesters attempted to erect barricades to block streets around Place Charles de Gaulle – prompting the police to respond in kind.
At least one vehicle had been set on fire according to AP as the demonstration turned into yet another riot, and the lootings began. Shop windows were mashed and furniture broken. In December, Macron attempted to assuage angry protesters with 10 billion ($11.2 billion) in tax cuts and other benefits for low-wage pensioners.