French government threatens bloody crackdown on “yellow vest” protest
Alex Lantier and Francis Dubois
8 December 2018
Ahead of today’s marches by “yellow vest” protesters against President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, the French government issued unprecedented threats of a bloody crackdown in the capital. Amid rising support for the “yellow vests” among students and workers, and mounting popular anger with Macron, top officials are warning that they will stop at nothing to intimidate and threaten protesters. Some 89,000 riot police and armored vehicles are to be deployed today.
Macron’s attempt to shut down the protest by first postponing and then ultimately canceling the fuel tax increase that first provoked the demonstrations has failed. Instead, the movement has continued to spread across France and internationally, to Belgium, the Netherlands, and as far as Iraq. Amid growing demands by “yellow vests” for large wage increases, taxes on the rich, and more social equality, which his government has no intention of fulfilling, Macron is preparing for a showdown.
Yesterday, as authorities closed monuments across Paris and shops boarded up storefront windows to prepare for rioting, spokesman Benjamin Griveaux spoke to Le Parisien to slander the “yellow vests” as cop killers. “They are coming to smash, burn, pillage, and attack with the intention of killing representatives of public order,” Griveaux said. Asked if he was telling protesters not to come to Paris, he replied: “That is the advice that I would give.”
Griveaux gave no evidence to support his charge that “yellow vests” intend to kill police. After three Saturdays of protests in which violent police charges led to four deaths and left hundreds injured, not a single policeman…