- Protesters clashed with riot police in Paris over the weekend as a demonstrations against French President Emmanuel Macron and rising fuel prices turned violent.
- The “gilets jaunes” or yellow jackets movement began as a grassroots movement against business-centric federal policies, in addition to Macron’s expressed environmental priorities that would raise fuel prices.
- President Donald Trump tweeted a mention of the protests Sunday to express dissatisfaction with US-European Union trade and military relations.
Thousands of protesters clashed with police in Paris over the weekend in the second week of demonstrations against rising fuel prices.
Police launched tear gas and water on protesters, who lit fires and erected makeshift blockades near the Champs-Elysees, a major avenue in the capital.
The protest was lead by the “gilets jaunes” or yellow jackets movement, which brought nearly 300,000 protesters out across France in 2,000 protests over the past week that addressed tensions related to rising fuel prices, a consequence of French President Emmanuel Macron’s key environmental policies.
Protesters told the Associated Press they were angry with increasing financial burdens from federal officials, namely Macron.
The protests drew approximately 3,000 security forces in Paris near the city’s busiest areas like the Champs-Elysees in the latest clash after two people were killed and hundreds were injured in the past week.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner accused the far right of encouraging the violent demonstration and called for “public order.”
Far-right political leader Marine Le Pen rejected Castaner’s blame as an “outrageous” suggestion, instead blaming the government for stirring tension.
What began as a grassroots movement against elitism and business interests has won wide popularity across France. Authorities have found it difficult to quell the movement as it has no official leaders or structure.
Macron tweeted to condemn the violent protests, praise law enforcement, and state that there is “no place for this violence in the Republic.”
“Thank you to all our law enforcement, for their courage and professionalism. Shame on all the people who assaulted them,” Macron tweeted, in a translation reported by CNN. “Shame to those who voluntarily assaulted citizens and reporters. Shame on those who tried to intimidate our elected.”
President Donald Trump mentioned the protests in a tweet early Sunday to assert his dissatisfaction with US-European Union trade and military relations.
“The large and violent French protests don’t take into account how badly the United States has been treated on Trade by the European Union or on fair and reasonable payments for our GREAT military protection,” Trump wrote. “Both of these topics must be remedied soon.”
The large and violent French protests don’t take into account how badly the United States has been treated on Trade by the European Union or on fair and reasonable payments for our GREAT military protection. Both of these topics must be remedied soon.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2018
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