France ‘one step away from revolution’ Protest leader says Macron needs ‘political shock’

Monday, December 3, 2018
By Paul Martin

FRANCE is teetering on the brink of chaos and headed for another revolution, a spokesman for the yellow vest protest movement said as rioters rioters turned central Paris into a battle zone on Saturday.

Mon, Dec 3, 2018

Violent scenes erupted against in the French capital on Saturday, with cars torched, police attacked with hammers and even a police gun stolen during the riots. Protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s rise in fuel duty, which began in mid-November, has since become a movement against the Government’s economic reforms, which many feel favour the urban elite. Mr Macron has not ruled out imposing a state of emergency to quell the protests.

Benjamin Cauchy, a spokesperson for the “yellow vest” protest movement warned told France Info radio yesterday: “We are one step away from an insurgency. The government must respond quickly to the crisis. What we need is a strong political electric shock.”

It is only through dialogue and compromise that we can end the unrest, Mr Cauchy continued, adding that it was “never too late to negotiate”.

He said: “The government’s deafness to protesters’ demands has sparked anger and violence.”

He added a moratorium on the fuel tax would be “seen as a first step” and prove that the government “can hear the anger and doesn’t want the country to degenerate into chaos”.

The popular rebellion – dubbed the “yellow vests” after the high-visibility safety jackets kept in all vehicles in France – first erupted on November 17, with protesters blocking roads across France and impeding access to shopping centres, factories and some fuel depots.

Despite rioters torching vehicles and being hit with water cannon last weekend, authorities appeared to be caught off guard by the escalation in violence on Saturday.

Rioters ran amok across central Paris, torching cars and buildings, looting shops, smashing windows and hurling hammers at police in the worst unrest in more than a decade, posing a dire challenge to Mr Macron’s presidency.

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