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2018 Dec 09 - Paris Yellow Vest Protests

20181209
It's the run up 'til Christmas and rather than the 2 calling birds or 3 french hens, the French government dispersed tear gas in Paris. Police fired into the crowd as a fourth weekend of anti-government protests turned violent. 8000 police and 12 armoured vehicles have been deployed in Paris and if you think you hear 12 drummers drumming, it's probably the sound of those 12 armoured vehicles being pelted with rocks, or possibly oyster shells and wine bottles because it's Paris and why not enjoy lunch if you're already making a day of it?

The "yellow vest" or "gilets jaunes" movement initially set out to protest the unpopular fuel tax increases in this year's budget, a tax that Emmanuel Macron has since changed his mind about, presumably as he contemplates a prohibitive duty on the sale of yellow vests. He also decided to freeze the price of Electricity and gas prices next year but then the president is a former Goldman Sachs banker so it's not as if fixing energy prices is anything new

The problem is that Mr Macron has opened Pandora's Box with protesters now thinking they have momentum and calling for higher wages, lower taxes, better pensions, easier university requirements a partridge in a pear tree and perhaps the abolition of normal toilets in favour of those weird trough things you used to see on holiday.

They've also demanded the resignation of the president and they may achieve that but only by means of the second definition of resignation: namely "acceptance of something undesirable but inevitable" It seems that for the next couple of weeks, the weekly protest movement will be just as much a part of Parisian life as the folk on the pavement selling tacky oil paintings, miniature Eiffel Towers and offering to take your photograph before either charging you €20 or possibly just running off with your phone.

It's also worth noting that the protest movement has also spread to Belgium with 70 people arrested in Brussels so far. I also saw a photo of a crowd of people violently brawling with the police outside a Weatherspoons in the north of England, although I'm not sure if that's a protest against Theresa May or a protest about someone looking at someone the wrong way.
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