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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Area teen crowned Miss Teenage Central Alberta

Sophia Lia, 15, earned the crown in her first pageant and is spreading the message of mental health

Town of Stettler playgrounds re-opening May 29th

Playgrounds are currently undergoing inspection and seasonal maintenance

Alberta RCMP conducts long weekend enforcement operations

Alberta RCMP Traffic Services issued over 1,700 speeding tickets and over 50 distracted driving tickets

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Salmon expected to begin arriving soon at Fraser River landslide: DFO

Salmon expected to begin arriving soon at Fraser River landslide: DFO

Canadian Judicial Council won’t appeal harsh ruling of its investigation of judge

Canadian Judicial Council won’t appeal harsh ruling of its investigation of judge

Guy Laliberte wants to buy back Cirque du soleil, keep headquarters in Montreal

Guy Laliberte wants to buy back Cirque du soleil, keep headquarters in Montreal

Liberals, NDP work on sick leave to secure deal on future of Parliament

Liberals, NDP work on sick leave to secure deal on future of Parliament

Branson’s Virgin Orbit fails on first rocket launch attempt

Branson’s Virgin Orbit fails on first rocket launch attempt

In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, everyone else is to blame for virus

In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, everyone else is to blame for virus

All-time Argos selection Marv Luster passes away at the age of 82

All-time Argos selection Marv Luster passes away at the age of 82

Lions rookie linebacker Williams patiently waiting for 2020 CFL season

Lions rookie linebacker Williams patiently waiting for 2020 CFL season

Most Read