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Sat, 18 Jan 2020 06:10 GMT

Yellow Vest Movement Tries to Gain Momentum, Macron Calls for Calm


7Dnews London

Sat, 21 Sep 2019 09:21 GMT

Large numbers of police were being deployed in Paris over fears that yellow vest protesters and anarchist "black blocs" could try to infiltrate a march against climate change in the French capital, AFP reported on Saturday September 21st citing the Paris police chief.

The yellow vest movement started on November 17th last year on social media as a response to increases in fuel prices and has since become a wider protest against social inequalities.

Macron on Friday September 20th called for "calm", saying that while "it's good that people express themselves", they should not disrupt a climate protest and cultural events also due to go ahead on Saturday.

Fresh rallies are planned for Saturday, but it remains to be seen whether the movement will be able to regain its winter and spring momentum after a lull over the summer.

Their weekly demonstrations prompted Macron to loosen the state's purse strings to the tune of nearly €17 billion ($18.8 billion) in wage boosts and tax cuts for low earners but the number of protests fell over the summer.

Paris police chief Didier Lallement has said 7,500 police would be deployed for Saturday's rallies in Paris, numbers on a par with the peak of the yellow vest protests in December and March.

Key yellow-vest figure Jerome Rodrigues has billed Saturday's protest as "a revelatory demonstration,” claiming "many people are going to come to Paris".

But officials have again outlawed protests on the Champs-Élysées and other areas in the heart of the capital, where previously protesters had ransacked and set fire to luxury shops and restaurants.