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Paris protests over rising fuel prices, Macron’s presidency turn violent

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france protests
A
demonstrator waves the French flag onto a burning barricade on
the Champs-Elysees avenue with the Arc de Triomphe in background,
during a demonstration against the rising of the fuel taxes,
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 in Paris.


Michel
Euler/AP



  • Protesters clashed with riot police in Paris over the
    weekend as a demonstrations against French President Emmanuel
    Macron and rising fuel prices turned violent.
  • The “gilets jaunes” or yellow jackets movement began as a
    grassroots movement against business-centric federal policies, in
    addition to Macron’s expressed environmental priorities that
    would raise fuel prices.
  • President Donald Trump tweeted a mention of the protests
    Sunday to express dissatisfaction with US-European Union trade
    and military relations.

Thousands of protesters clashed with police in Paris over the
weekend in the second week of demonstrations against rising fuel
prices.

Police launched tear gas and water on protesters, who lit fires
and erected makeshift blockades near the Champs-Elysees, a major
avenue in the capital.

The protest was lead by the “gilets jaunes” or yellow jackets
movement, which brought nearly 300,000 protesters out across
France in 2,000 protests over the past week that addressed
tensions related to rising fuel prices, a consequence of French
President Emmanuel Macron’s key environmental policies.


france protests
Police
launched tear gas canisters at yellow-jacketed protesters on the
Champs-Elysees.


Christophe
Ena/AP



Protesters told the Associated Press they were
angry with increasing financial burdens from federal officials,
namely Macron. 

The protests drew approximately 3,000 security forces in Paris
near the city’s busiest areas like the Champs-Elysees in the
latest clash after two people were killed and hundreds were
injured in the past week.

Read more:

France’s Macron ratchets up
warnings about Europe’s far-right nationalists, comparing them to
Nazis and fascists

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner accused the far
right of encouraging the violent demonstration and called for
“public order.”

Far-right political leader Marine Le Pen rejected Castaner’s
blame as an “outrageous” suggestion,
instead blaming the government for stirring tension.

What began as a grassroots movement against elitism and business
interests has won wide popularity across France. Authorities have
found it difficult to quell the movement as it has no official leaders or
structure.


france protests
Demonstrators
were protesting against Emmanuel Macron’s presidency as a whole,
with signs similar to this one that reads “Macron, destitution,
government resignation, system, abolition.”


Michel
Euler/AP



Macron tweeted to condemn the violent
protests, praise law enforcement, and state that there is “no
place for this violence in the Republic.”

“Thank you to all our law enforcement, for their courage and
professionalism. Shame on all the people who assaulted them,”
Macron tweeted, in a translation reported by CNN.
“Shame to those who voluntarily assaulted citizens and reporters.
Shame on those who tried to intimidate our elected.”

President Donald Trump mentioned the protests in a tweet early
Sunday to assert his dissatisfaction with US-European Union trade
and military relations.

“The large and violent French protests don’t take into account
how badly the United States has been treated on Trade by the
European Union or on fair and reasonable payments for our GREAT
military protection,” Trump wrote. “Both of these topics must be
remedied soon.”

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