President Emmanuel Macron falls off his pink cloud with a thud.
The last time we reported on the “Yellow Vest” protests in France, the demonstrators were directing their anger at both the #FakeNews media and French bureaucrats.
Those protests are continuing for the 17th straight weekend. In honor of International Women’s Day, “Pink Vests” were protesting with the yellow ones.
There were 7,000 protesters throughout France at 2 p.m., according to the Interior Ministry, up from 5,600 at the same time last Saturday. There were 2,800 protesters in Paris, compared with 1,320. That’s way down from the hundreds of thousands who protested at the start of the movement at the end of 2018.
The protests in Paris were mostly peaceful, with women leading the march down the Champs Elysees avenue a day after International Women’s Day. There were skirmishes as police prevented some protesters from leaving the march’s agreed route.
Near Nantes, protesters threw rocks at police who were trying to eject them from a shopping center, Agence France-Press reported. A group of about thirty Yellow Vests who planned to camp all weekend near the Eiffel Tower in Paris were removed by the police Friday night.
A recent polls shows that 54 percent of French people backed or had sympathy with the “yellow vests.”
Our reports have also noted that French demonstrators had been seriously injured by French police. The UN human rights chief has now called for a “full investigation” into the possible excessive use of force by French police.
“The ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (yellow vests) have been protesting what they see as exclusion from economic rights and participation in public affairs,” rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in her annual address to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“We encourage the government to continue dialogue – including follow-up to the national discussions which are currently underway – and urge full investigation of all reported cases of excessive use of force”.
President Emmanuel Macron has vehemently denied allegations riot police were using excessive force against yellow vest protesters.
The 41-year-old centrist’s outburst came after a young farmer, Alexia Olagnon, told him the ongoing “repression” of yellow vest protesters by police “cannot be ignored”.
Visibly irked by Mrs Olagnon’s remarks, Mr Macron ask her to “name authoritarian or repressive regimes which organise debates like the one we’re having right now,” in reference to the grand national debate he launched in January to quell yellow vest anger.
He said: “For several weeks now, thugs have infiltrated and distorted the [yellow vest] movement. They have threatened and beaten up security forces whose job is to protect you.
“Everywhere that there is violence, I expect police officers to be in a position to protect themselves and protect the public order. For as long as I am president, the right to protest and the rule of law will be respected.”
The protests appear likely to continue, though I do enjoy the fact that Macron’s “moral authority” to lecture the United States is now substantially diminished. To paraphrase the iconic Elizabeth Taylor, Macron fell off his pink cloud with a thud.DONATE
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