French protesters rail against Macron

A Yellow vest protester is attended by others after being injured during a rally in Nantes

A Yellow vest protester is attended by others after being injured during a rally in Nantes

Hundreds of women took to the streets of Paris on Sunday, January 6, to take part in the ongoing yellow vests demonstrations that have taken over the country. Protesters have also gathered in the city of Nice where they have slowed down traffic.

Clashes between police and protesters flared up in other cities across France, with tear gas fired in Bordeaux and in Rouen, Normandy.

Some paused outside the headquarters of Agence France-Presse (AFP) in central Paris to hurl anti-media insults.

The Yellow Vest demonstrations - named after the high-visibility jackets worn by the protesters - began in rural France over increased fuel taxes.

Mr Griveaux had earlier criticised the yellow vest movement, describing those involved as "agitators" who sought "to overthrow the government". Cops used clubs to thwart protestors who tried to cross a bridge off the sanctioned marching route.

President Macron is said to be on the verge of sacking the Paris police chief after "yellow vest" protesters rioted on the Left Bank and broke into a ministry. Macron said France "wants to build a better future" while imploring people to respect each other.

Rioters in Paris torched motorbikes and set barricades ablaze on the upmarket Boulevard Saint Germain on Saturday, as protests against high living costs and the perceived indifference of President Emmanuel Macron turned violent on the fringes.

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But it later ballooned into a wider revolt against Macron's pro-market policies and governing style, with 282,000 people joining the first Saturday rally on November 17.

The latest demonstration was a sort of test of the movement's staying power after proposals by Macron to address concerns of the French who have a hard time making ends meet, including canceling fuel tax hikes at the origin of the protests.

Faced with record low popularity ratings, Macron is expected to pen a letter soon to the nation setting out his plans for coming months.

Although public anger appeared to abate over the holiday period, the brief arrest on Wednesday of Eric Drouet, one of the leaders of the movement, seems to have rekindled resentment among his supporters.

The turnout seemed a revival for the protests after declining numbers in the last weeks of 2019.

But Le Maire said the government won't go back on its landmark tax decisions, in particular the abolition of a wealth tax that many Yellow Vests protesters say should be reinstated.

"It should be given instead to people in need".

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