French Police Crack Down On 30th ‘Yellow Vest’ Protest

Above: Police use firehouses against Act 30 Yellow Vest protesters. By Pascal Guyot for AFP.

The French government said 10,300 people demonstrated across the country, up from 9,500 last weekend.

French police violently clashed with protesters Saturday at the 30th consecutive weekend of “yellow vest” demonstrations, using tear gas and water cannons in the southern city of Montpellier.

The “yellow vest” protests, named after the brightly colored safety jackets French drivers have to keep in their cars and worn by demonstrators, began in November after public anger spilled onto the streets to protest the government’s neoliberal economic policies adversely affecting the poor.

“I am pushing on (with protesting), so that salaries, the minimum wage can be increased to 1,500 euros net, because once we’re done paying rent, electricity and all the rest – there’s not much remaining for food, for leisure, for holidays, said Julien, a currently unemployed humanitarian volunteer, to Reuters. We can’t even go on holiday. For me, it’s been five years that I haven’t taken holidays.”

Demonstrators Saturday said they would continue to protest over Macron’s policies.

“We’re still (fighting) for purchasing power, at this moment, for everyone; because we take into account that he (President Macron) has offered some small things, but often it’s what’s been previously taken away,” said Sebastian, a postal service worker. “In fact, what he’s re-offered, just allows people to maybe reach a level that they had before, that was maybe not enough. Right now, what we want is more, and not just to restore what had been previously taken away.”

The city of Dijon, in central France, also witnessed violent clashes.

Additions were made to the original article by Popular Resisance.