Thousands of protesters gathered on the Champs Elysees in Paris on Saturday morning to demonstrate against Emmanuel Macron, the French president, whose economic policies have many Parisians up in arms. Angry protesters set fires in the street and erected barricades. Some of the demonstrators threw stones, and police fired back with enormous water cannons. You can see video and images from the protests here:
You can see the makeshift barricades the protesters built — and the fires they built — here:
You can see the Champs Elysees filled up with smoke and tear gas, here:
The protest left destruction in its wake:
You can see more footage of the police clashing with protesters here:
The ‘Yellow Jacket’ Protests Were Sparked by a Big Increase in Gas Taxes
Around 8000 people gathered in Paris on Saturday to protest against a massive increase in the tax on diesel gas, imposed by President Emmanuel Macron. The protesters wore yellow jackets and sang the national anthem. They were heading towards the Elysee presidential palace when police barred their way.
The “yellow jacket” protests started last week and have spread across France. Demonstrators have set up burning barricades to block block highways; other protesters have used trucks to block access to gas stations, stores, and even factories. The protests even spread to France’s overseas territories, with demonstrators setting fires and protesting in Isle de la Reunion.
The French president imposed the higher tax on diesel in an effort to fight climate change. But demonstrators say that they rely on their cars to commute to work, and that the higher tax is a hardship. The French president’s popularity is at an all-time low, with his approval rating hovering at around 20 percent.