The anger of the “yellow vests” also seems to have crossed the English Channel. Thousands of protesters protested in London against the British government. on the model of the “yellow vests” in London. In the face of Brexit, they demanded an end to austerity and a new election. Politicians and trade unionists from across the country followed the call of the campaign “The People’s Assembly Against Austerity”. About 5000 to 10,000 demonstrators would have participated, said a spokeswoman for the organizers of the German Press Agency.
Shortly before the start of a “national debate” on how to resolve the “yellow-west” crisis, tens of thousands of people have again taken to the streets in France in protest against the government. Around 84,000 “yellow vests” have been counted across the country – far more than last weekend, as French media reported, citing the Interior Ministry.
It was already the ninth protest weekend in a row. In London, the movement found imitators. Thousands demonstrated Saturday in the British capital against the government of Prime Minister Theresa May.
Tensions between police and protesters began in the afternoon in Paris and other French cities. For the time being, however, nothing was known about serious riots. Some demonstrators had thrown missiles in the capital near the triumphal arch in the direction of police, said a police spokeswoman to the Press. The security forces then used tear gas and water cannons.
By the afternoon, more than 100 people were arrested in Paris in connection with the “yellow vests” protests. They wore banned weapons or joined a group that could possibly commit acts of violence, the police said. According to prosecutors, 74 people were taken into police custody in Paris.
Also in other cities “yellow vests” gathered. In Bourges, according to the local prefecture, about 5,000 people took to the streets by afternoon. Their protest was initially largely peaceful. However, from that afternoon they were reportedly seeking confrontation with the security forces. The city in the center of France was under particular scrutiny by security agencies after it had made online calls for mass protests there.
In Bordeaux in the southwest of the country, protesters shot fireworks towards the security forces, as shown on television pictures. The forces injected water from hoses onto the “yellow vests”. In Rouen in northern France, “yellow vests” had attacked LCI journalists, Interior Secretary Laurent Nunez wrote on Twitter and condemned the crime.
The movement seems to gain new strength around two months after it began. There were more than 30,000 more people on the streets this Saturday than last week – despite concessions from the government and an announced tougher course in security policy. Around Christmas, the number of participants had dropped.
The hopes of President Emmanuel Macron and his government are now resting on a “national debate” to placate the “yellow vests” and begin on Tuesday. In the coming weeks, the citizens should have their say and make suggestions for reform.
Representatives of the yellow west movement from France also participated in the demonstration in London. “All European countries should join this fight against austerity,” said a participant from France.