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.

 

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

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

Move natural gas pipeline, MP suggests

Coastal GasLink could then avoid opposition

Coastal GasLink violates terms of permit

Tree clearing took place outside Kitimat

Doctor recruiting drive showing results

Crisis point has now passed

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Most Read