Police fire teargas as gilets jaunes protests return to Paris

Agence France Press – Jan 18, 2020

French police fired teargas under a rain of projectiles, used stun grenades and arrested dozens of people on Saturday as thousands of yellow vest anti-government protesters returned to the streets of Paris.

Demonstrators shouted slogans denouncing the police, the president, Emmanuel Macron, and his pension reforms that have triggered the longest French transport strike in decades.

The previous night, Macron and his wife, Brigitte, had to be rushed from a Paris theatre after protesters tried to burst in and disrupt the performance.

With sirens wailing, riot police drove across the French capital in dozens of vans Saturday to the route where thousands of protesters marched.

The police said 59 people had been arrested by the early afternoon.

There were further allegations of police violence after video footage shot by AFPTV and others showed a young man, his face covered in blood, being arrested and beaten.

Young people wearing masks shouted “revolution” as teargas drifted by the Bastille, the square where the French revolution erupted in 1789.

“The street is ours,” some protesters chanted. “Macron, we’re going to come for you, in your home.”

Saturday’s clashes came on the 45th day of a strike that has hit train and metro traffic and caused misery for millions of commuters in and around Paris in particular. Trains are becoming more frequent, however, and Paris’s metro drivers voted to suspend their action from Monday, their union UNSA announced on Saturday.

The protests were also the latest of the weekly demonstrations held every Saturday by the gilet jaunes (yellow vest) movement since November 2018, and which have been boosted by those opposed to the pension reforms.

“We’re suffocating with this government who wants to put us on our knees,” said Annie Moukam, a 58-year-old teacher among the protesters. “It’s out of the question that he (Macron) touches our pensions. We have worked all our lives to be able to leave with a dignified retirement,” she added.

Macron’s reforms aim to forge a single pensions system from the country’s 42 separate regimes. The various systems currently in place offer early retirement and other benefits to some public-sector workers as well as lawyers, physical therapists and even Paris Opera employees.

Critics say the reforms will in effect force millions of people to work longer for a smaller pension.

The transport unions have joined forces with the yellow vests, who accuse Macron of ruling on behalf of an urban elite while ignoring people in the provinces and the countryside, many of whom struggle to make ends meet.

The unions are looking for a second wind as their movement begins to flag, with the proportion of striking workers at national railway operator SNCF falling to less than 5% on Friday.

The Louvre in Paris, the world’s most visited museum, reopened on Saturday after being shut down by workers opposed to the pension overhaul.

On Friday, hundreds of disappointed visitors massed outside the Louvre, some hurling insults at strikers who had blocked the entrance. It was the first time since the strike began on 5 December that the museum had shut completely, although it was forced to close some galleries last month.

But there was no sign of an end to the strike at the Paris Opera, which has lost €14m (£11.9m) with the cancellation of 67 performances.

The Paris Opera orchestra on Saturday gave renditions of Carmen and other works to Parisians and tourists on the steps of the Palais Garnier to show support for the strike. Under a stream of confetti, they finished with La Marseillaise, the national anthem. Supporters chanted “Long live the strike”.

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3 responses to “Police fire teargas as gilets jaunes protests return to Paris”

  1. Vive La France!

  2. I’m actually glad that this is happening in France. I have the utmost sympathy for the protesters and they have my full support. The very behaviour of the police is disgusting, but more importantly, along with the recent article on the police not disclosing Prince Andrew’s whereabouts in the Epstein post here on Truthseeker, it shows that the European police, most certainly including the North American, are a networked, criminal organisation, who serve the very elites within those lands, to the detriment of the people within.
    The very oppression of the gilet jaunes shows just where society is headed as the criminal elite, push forward with their new world order.

    And finally, I spoke to an ex police officer and asked him whether the police are predominantly left wing now, compared to right wing in the past and he stated “overwhelmingly” In fact, he said it was pretty much a “prerequisite of the job”. This was here in the UK and it sets a deadly precedent. They now have their NKVD/Stasi as their thugs, having removed the old order of policing. Unless the people all unite together, to end the police force and the rule of the elites, then Orwell’s prediction will come true, as spoken by high up, party member O’Brien:

    “There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.”

  3. The egregious have patience on their side people have slavery. Get along little doggies all your misfortune and none of my own.
    Why would any independent thinking person rely on greed to sustain them through retirement. Excuse me but the last generation to get these entitlements are driving around the coasts in RVs living it up while they support the grandkids.
    If you give money to the government schemes and expect to live comfortably later in life you’re an idiot. The banksters gave us all this they can take it back at any time because we’ll never give it back, get it.
    The French are in a catch 22. You can’t dispel government as your throwing money into their hands it doesn’t compute. The whole superannuation scheme needs to be abolished that’s what should be called for but we are beings of material I suppose or as the French are showing us.