Yellow Vests: The Situation is in Paris, Several Dozens of Arrests

General News
"Yellow vests" manifest on the Champs-Elysées, on December 15, 2018 in Paris. (© AFP / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT)

This Saturday, the Yellow Vests are demonstrating in Paris and on the Champs-Elysées, where an important police presence is set up.

The “yellow vests” are demonstrating Saturday in Paris. They are framed by a large-scale security device, for the act V of a national mobilization under the watchful eye of the power which hopes for an appeasement after the announcements of Emmanuel Macron in favor of the purchasing power.

In the late morning, the situation became tense and clashes took place with the police.

“The last time, we were there for taxes, this time it’s more for institutions: we want more direct democracy,” sums up in the cold biting Jeremy, 28-year-old interim from Rennes family “to yell for to be heard “.

In mid-day, a hundred people were arrested in Ile-de-France, far from the 300 arrests recorded at the same time last Saturday as part of preventive controls. In total, there were nearly 2000 arrests, a record.

French police on duty in Paris on December 15, 2018 for Act V "yellow vests".
French police on duty in Paris on December 15, 2018 for Act V “yellow vests”. (© AFP / Zakaria ABDELKAFI)

14 armoured vehicles in Paris

The magnitude of the demonstrations, which have gathered 136,000 people during the last two episodes marked by scenes of urban guerrilla warfare and exceptional security, will be closely scrutinized by an executive in the grip of an unprecedented social crisis.

“We expect a little less mobilisation but with somewhat more determined individuals,” said Secretary of State for the Interior Laurent Nuñez Friday night.

Around the Arc de Triomphe, vans of mobile gendarmes had been positioned since dawn. 8000 members of the police force were deployed in the capital, supported by 14 armored wheeled vehicles of the gendarmerie (VBRG).

Loss of activity

At 100 meters from the Place de l’Etoile, at the brewery “The wine heart”, Maria, the manager, feared further damage. “As soon as it gasses, we are ordered to close and go up the awning of the terrace,” she says. For her, “they manifest, no problem, but this case is distressing”.

Elsewhere in Paris, as on the Place de la Bastille, banks had covered their plywood facades, but cafes were open to try to fill the gap due to closures of previous Saturdays.

Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Secretary of State to the Minister of the Economy, assured BFMTV on Saturday that traders reported losses of activity “on average -25%, with peaks of -50, -70 in some places -90% “.

About 69,000 members of the security forces were deployed, against 89,000 last Saturday. In regions where many events are announced, reinforcements are planned where there have been violence, such as Bordeaux or Toulouse.

Armored men and gendarmes take up the position of Place de la Concorde in Paris on December 15, 2018 for Act V of the demonstration of "yellow vests".
Armored men and gendarmes take up the position of Place de la Concorde in Paris on December 15, 2018 for Act V of the demonstration of “yellow vests”. (© AFP / Valery HACHE)

Tension falls

The A6 was cut in both directions at the limit between the Saône-et-Loire and the Rhone by the prefect as a precaution against the expected mobilisation of “yellow vests”.

In the capital, access to institutions (Elysee Palace, Hotel Matignon, National Assembly, Ministry of the Interior, etc.) are protected.

On the other hand, sign that the tension falls a little, the Eiffel Tower, and several museums closed last Saturday are now open, as the department stores as Christmas approaches.

In Bordeaux, the tourist office has however cancelled all tours scheduled for Saturday afternoon and will close its doors at midday. Many public services and cultural institutions will keep their doors closed.

Emmanuel Macron’s announcements on Monday, the most emblematic of which is a € 100 increase in revenue at the Smic level, have been variously received by the French, demanding fewer taxes and more purchasing power.

“100 euros is flan”

“100 euros more for the smic is blank, it concerns only a minority of people,” lamented Saturday in Paris Ludovic, 40, conditioner driver came to demonstrate Amiens.

After the jihadist attack in Strasbourg on Tuesday, which killed four people, the appeals, especially by the majority and the government, not to protest were also rejected by some of the “yellow vests”, seeing no report .

If the moderates, represented by the collective of “free yellow vests” have called for a “truce” and felt that “the time for dialogue has come”, others have shown their determination to go down the street to get new progress social and economic

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