Yellow vest protesters walk down the famed Champs Elysees avenue to keep pressure on French President Emmanuel Macron’s government, for the 13th straight weekend of demonstrations, in Paris, France, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

French yellow vests protest for 16th straight weekend

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday reiterated a call for calm

French yellow vests were protesting for a 16th straight weekend in Paris and other cities to show they are still mobilized against the government’s economic policies they see as favouring the rich.

In Paris, protesters gathered Saturday at the Arc de Triomphe monument as a march was planned through the well-off western neighbourhoods of the capital.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday reiterated a call for calm, pointing at “unacceptable” outbreaks of violence since the movement began in November.

Organizers say they want to maintain pressure on the government as a two-month “grand debate” initiated by Macron to let ordinary French people express their views on the country’s economic and democratic issues is ending this month.

Sophie Tissier, a co-ordinator of the Paris protest, told The Associated Press that “we keep protesting every Saturday because Macron doesn’t respond at all to the yellow vests’ demands. We want to rebuild our democracy and change today’s political system.”

“Macron is contemptuous and … does not even try to understand that there are people that are living in great poverty and precariousness, and that there are so many inequalities,” she added.

Other protests are taking place in France’s major cities of Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Lille and others.

The movement was named after the fluorescent vests that French motorists must carry in their vehicles for emergencies.

The protests started in November to oppose fuel tax hikes, but have expanded into a broader public rejection of Macron’s economic policies, which protesters say favour big businesses and the wealthy over ordinary workers.

Macron has since announced a package of measures worth about 10 billion euros ($11.4 billion) to boost workers’ and retirees’ purchasing power and launched a national debate that is taking place through meetings across France and a dedicated website until mid-March.

Many yellow vests reject the debate which they consider as politically driven to serve the government’s interests.

Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Yellow vest protesters take part in a demonstration to keep pressure on French President Emmanuel Macron’s government, for the 13th straight weekend of demonstrations, in Paris, France, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

Just Posted

Ongoing Saanich Schools strike forces production of ‘Matilda the Musical’ to Esquimalt High

Four Seasons Musical Theatre had to find alternative venue for production

Saanich ranked third for participation in FortisBC energy-efficient upgrades program

800 older apartment buildings in B.C. have received upgrades since 2015

100 government employees will work in the West Shore by the end of 2020

Province confirms plans for government buildings in Langford

Police searching for missing West Shore teen

Police concerned for health and well being of Lia Barker, 14, last seen Nov. 8

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Former B.C. youth pastor guilty on one of five sexual assault allegations

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Cloverdale couple not guilty of majority of charges

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Most Read