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French police brace for bigger, more violent "Yellow Vest" protests

Updated : Saturday, 12 January 2019, 04:00:49 PM
The Interior Ministry said it was sending senior officers to previous flashpoints around France
By Editorial Staff
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KUWAIT CITY(IAMINKUWAIT): French police are bracing for even more violent and larger "Yellow Vest" protests Saturday than in the previous weeks due to a radicalisation of the protesters and a more defiant position in the ranks of the demonstrators, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

Police will also be boosting numbers of available personnel to combat what is expected to be a violent day in Paris and in the central town of Bourges, which has been given as a second rallying point for Saturday's gatherings.

The Interior Ministry said it was sending senior officers to previous flashpoints around France. Police will also have 80,000 men on the ground to thwart efforts to destroy property and attack public institutions.

It is the third month of Saturday protests whereby once a week thousands mass in major cities and towns to protests living conditions and salary rates and high taxes.
Saturday's countrywide marchers and demonstrations will be the ninth since the operations began.

In November, the biggest "Yellow Vest" protest brought out almost 250,000 people on to the streets but numbers have dwindled since the government and President Emmanuel Macron made Euros 10 billion (USD 14 billion) in social concessions, raising lowest salaries and easing taxes in some areas.
Last Saturday, only 50,000 people protested around France but there was massive violence screened live around the nation and many say they were shocked by the behaviour of the "Yellow Vests" but others blamed police for the violence and say they will continue to take to the streets.
Some "Yellow Vest" marches have been infiltrated by violent agitators from the anarchist extreme left and sometimes from the extreme right fascist groups making it difficult for police to determine who is wreaking the havoc in town centres.

But Saturday's marches are already seen by Police as fertile ground for more and even more dangerous clashes, the Police Prefecture said.
Since the protests began in November, damage in Paris alone - often on the world famous Champs Elysee Avenue - has been evaluated at over Euros four billion and more losses are expected in the tourist sector as the sight of pitched battles and burning cars and broken buildings is beamed around the world and is a strong deterrent for travellers to the City of Lights. Indeed the French capital is the most visited in the world and 38 million visitors come here every year but many are rushing to cancel holidays here because of what they are seeing on television.

Now the statistics focus on the losses and casualties in the recent protests. Ten people have died in association with the "Yellow Vest" movement, all of them in incidents or accidents on barricades or in protest sites. The Interior Ministry said that at least 5,600 have been detained in the protests and 1,000 have received rapid trial and sentencing.

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