The ninth round of yellow vests protests began tamely amid a heavy police presence of some 80,000 officers nationwide, as well as 5,000 in the capital.
84,000 protesters turned out for round nine, up from 50,000 the previous week.
There was much singing of the Marseillaise, while others shouted “Macron resign!” or “Free Christophe,” a reference to the ex-boxer filmed beating two officers during last week’s protest.
Journalists covering the protests have become a target for the demonstrators.
- In Paris, an LCI reporter was knocked to the ground while demonstrators tried to snach away her camera.
- Several other stations, among them BFM TV and franceinfo, on Sunday showed images of reporters being hassled or pushed around during Saturday’s “yellow vest” marches.
President Macron has just launched a national debate to calm the Yellow Vest protests down.
Emmanuel on Sunday set in motion a three-month national debate, which, he hopes, can calm the Yellow Vests unrest with a 2,300 word letter to the French in which he promised to listen to new ideas but remain true to his core economic reform agenda.
This willingness to listen comes after 9 full weeks of protests and unrest in La Republique. The generally anti-government uprising has wreaked havoc in Paris and other French cities, shaken the economy and challenged the President’s authority.
“For me, there is no banned issue. We won’t agree on everything, which is normal in a democracy. But at least we’ll show we’re a people which is not afraid of talking, exchanging, debating,” Macron wrote in his letter.
Yellow (Vests) Lessons
It took about a month before the Fuel Tax was scrapped and now after another few weeks of protests, the French government has acquiesced.
As many have said, these protests should be studied and they will happen throughout the continent. In one form or another.