Published: Sat, December 15, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

More "yellow vest" protests are expected today


"We're here to represent all our friends and members of our family who can't come to protest, or because they're scared", said Pierre Lamy, a 27-year-old industrial worker wearing a yellow vest with a French flag draped over his shoulders. "Because of that accord, the whole country is burning down", Trump claimed.

Fearing more violence at protests this weekend, authorities have already postponed six French league soccer matches as the government diverts police to deploy extra security around the country following the extremist attack on Tuesday that left three people dead in Strasbourg.

Numerous movement's figureheads, along with leaders of the far-left Unbowed France party, have urged protesters to turn out, particularly in Paris, to pressure the government into making further concessions.

President Emmanuel Macron, facing the biggest crisis of his presidency, announced a series of concessions on Monday to defuse the explosive "yellow vest" movement which sprang up in rural and small-town France last month.

The U.S. technically can not leave the Paris climate agreement until 2020, but it would be the only country in the world to have not signed on should it do so.

"I find it inadmissable that today we are applauding our police and then tomorrow some people think it's ok to go and throw stones at them", Castaner said on Friday morning, referring to how people in Strasbourg clapped to thank the police after news of the suspect's death.

Successive weekends of protests in Paris have lead to vandalism and violent clashes with security forces.

Unlike last Saturday, attractions such as the Louvre museum and Opera Garnier will be open this weekend, as will luxury department stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.

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Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux called on the anti-government protesters to be "reasonable", citing the strain on security forces after the bloodshed in Strasbourg on Tuesday evening.

A minor scuffle has broken out between protesters and police in Paris during demonstrations by the "yellow vest" movement, with police briefly using pepper spray to disperse a crowd.

The problem for Macron is that many protesters seem unmoved by his offer and mea culpa.

He said two yellow vest shipments were now en route to Egypt and that no instructions had been issued to halt such imports. "Our goal will be to better control this aspect".

One key figure called for the suspension of the government and for a former military chief to take over the country.

According to a recent survey, 84 percent of the French people - mostly from the middle-income group - support the protests. Philippe Martinez, the head of the Stalinist French Communist Party-affiliated General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the largest trade union federation in France, told BFM-TV that the CGT was calling for a "convergence" of the "yellow vest" movement with the unions, and fighting for a "strike everywhere".

Public protests had been all but banned by Sisi's authoritarian government. The slogan evokes the "Je Suis Charlie" motto used by supporters of freedom of speech after a 2015 attack in which 12 people were killed at the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

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