In an effort to send a message the the national government, the French Yellow Vest protesters set fires around the country and that while ignoring the poor, the government is building the fire-ravaged Noter Dame Cathedral. Like the high-visibility vests that protesters wear, the fires set by the Yellow Vests were a message to French President Emmanuel Macron`s government to “look at me – I need help too!” To break up the protesters police fried water cannons and sprayed tear gas to try to control the marchers who are in their 23rd straight weekend.
They see the Macron government as a centrist government that favors the wealthy and the top 1 percent and view themselves standing up for the beleaguered French workers, students and retirees who have been battling unemployment and high taxes and have shrinking purchasing power in major cities. The movement has been aggressive at times and some protesters have lots eyes via violence. AP reporters saw a car, and barricades set ablaze. The smell of tear gas floated around the city. Paris police detained more than 200 people by early afternoon and carried out spot checks on more than 20,000 trying to enter the capital for protests.
The protests started last November when pro-business Macron raised taxes to create much-needed jobs in France. Some protesters have put Macron on notice that the people will not endure higher taxes that hurt the people and benefit the large corporations. An estimated 27,900 people marched in France on Saturday, with 9,000 marching in Paris.