Yellow Vest Protesters Mark Anniversary With Rallies, Violence 

France’s yellow vests staged demonstrations Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of a protest movement for greater economic justice that once captured international headlines.  
Demonstrators smashed store windows and bus stops in Paris and set bonfires in some streets. Police and firemen responded with tear gas and water hoses. At least one of the demonstrations was canceled because of the violence. 
Demonstrations elsewhere in France were more peaceful. 
Protests first exploded over a hike in fuel prices. Roughly a quarter-million people — a diverse slice of French society, including teachers, farmers, retirees and students — took to the streets a year ago. Later, their demands expanded to a range of issues, from action on climate change to support for working-class families.  Protesters attend a demonstration to mark the first anniversary of the “yellow vest” movement in Nantes, France, Nov. 16, 2019.French President Emmanuel Macron responded by launching a national citizens debate earlier this year, and he offered concessions like tax cuts and a minimum wage hike.  The demonstrations have cost French businesses and the government hundreds of millions of dollars, but today, ome yellow vests say they’ve gained nothing from protesting. Farid, a government worker, says people are still struggling to make ends meet. Others say they’ve built bonds with fellow protesters. 
Recent efforts to revive the movement haven’t gained traction. French protests have certainly not ended — they’ve just gone back to more traditional forms. This week, for example, thousands of hospital workers marched over lack of funds and manpower. But yellow vests may join a broader labor strike next month, which some hope — or fear — may help relaunch the movement. 

leave a reply: