Yellow vest protesters walk down the famed Champs Elysees avenue to keep pressure on French President Emmanuel Macron’s government, for the 13th straight weekend of demonstrations, in Paris, France, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

French yellow vests protest for 16th straight weekend

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday reiterated a call for calm

French yellow vests were protesting for a 16th straight weekend in Paris and other cities to show they are still mobilized against the government’s economic policies they see as favouring the rich.

In Paris, protesters gathered Saturday at the Arc de Triomphe monument as a march was planned through the well-off western neighbourhoods of the capital.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday reiterated a call for calm, pointing at “unacceptable” outbreaks of violence since the movement began in November.

Organizers say they want to maintain pressure on the government as a two-month “grand debate” initiated by Macron to let ordinary French people express their views on the country’s economic and democratic issues is ending this month.

Sophie Tissier, a co-ordinator of the Paris protest, told The Associated Press that “we keep protesting every Saturday because Macron doesn’t respond at all to the yellow vests’ demands. We want to rebuild our democracy and change today’s political system.”

“Macron is contemptuous and … does not even try to understand that there are people that are living in great poverty and precariousness, and that there are so many inequalities,” she added.

Other protests are taking place in France’s major cities of Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Lille and others.

The movement was named after the fluorescent vests that French motorists must carry in their vehicles for emergencies.

The protests started in November to oppose fuel tax hikes, but have expanded into a broader public rejection of Macron’s economic policies, which protesters say favour big businesses and the wealthy over ordinary workers.

Macron has since announced a package of measures worth about 10 billion euros ($11.4 billion) to boost workers’ and retirees’ purchasing power and launched a national debate that is taking place through meetings across France and a dedicated website until mid-March.

Many yellow vests reject the debate which they consider as politically driven to serve the government’s interests.

Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Yellow vest protesters take part in a demonstration to keep pressure on French President Emmanuel Macron’s government, for the 13th straight weekend of demonstrations, in Paris, France, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

Just Posted

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Fraser Valley developer offering to build barn owl nesting boxes for free

Gore Brothers says anyone with a suitable building can help the threatened raptor

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Fraser Valley Bandits winless streak hits eight

CEBL club still looking for first-ever franchise victory

Abbotsford posts $29 million cash surplus in 2018

Reserves continue to grow, but finance chief warns more will be needed

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Update: Show of support after pride flag was taken down by Township of Langley

Township statement said flag was removed due to “confusion” about whether it was on private property

Most Read