As the French Yellow Vest protestors have a weekend of fun at the expense of President Emmanuel Macron, he said that “strong decisions” must be made now as he returned to the capital. There were shops looted and one restaurant in central Paris was set ablaze, while the President of the Republic seems to have temporarily lost control. Some protestors have died, others injured with rubber bullets and other dangerous projectiles.
He commented that on the Champs-Elysees is to longer a demonstration and that the issue must be addressed. Despite the fall from nation-wide protests falling in numbers from 70,000 to 45,000, the intensity of those in the streets has increased.
One report placed the number of arrests at 240 while the number of people on streets was estimated at 35,000 with 10,000 in Paris. Protestors and independent media point out that figures are purposely reported lower to mask the severity of the issues. This protest started in October of 2018 and has lasted for months, and started with a tax hike on gasoline.
The new protests on Saturday apparently opened new venues for protesters and at the same time drew aggressive condemnation from Macrons critics. He has been told to step down but he holds firm in his views, actually giving 10 billion Euros to the tax relieve effort and pay for citizens to calm the masses. Finally, there has been great national debate to bring the workers into the fold, allowing Macron to engage with them.