France Prepares For More Violent “Yellow Vest” Riots in Paris.


REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

Yellow Vest riots in France

Camilo Zeballos, Reporter

A recent proposal to raise fuel taxes in France is said to have been the final straw that led to the riots and protests the country has been facing over the past month.

According to a reporter from NBC, these are the worst riots France has experienced since 1968, leaving many people injured, and arrested as well as leaving many properties, and object in the capital burned, graffiti-ed, and defaced. French officials are currently preparing for an even more violent protest tomorrow closing off touristic parts of Paris and barricading many stores and public places. Interior minister Christophe Castaner said, “According to our information, radicalized and rebellious people will try to mobilize tomorrow.” According to The Telegraph, “89,000 police and gendarmes will be deployed around the country on Saturday,” and stated that “In France, police said they seized 28 petrol bombs at a roundabout in Montauban near Toulouse, as well as three homemade bombs.”

These violent protests are said to be a result of the recently proposed fuel taxes, but many others are saying this is not the case. The bill proposing the fuel tax in order to lower the consumption of coal and the release of greenhouse gasses has been officially removed, yet the protests continue. If these protests were truly a result of the fuel tax they would’ve stopped by now, but the problems appear to be deeper.

The riots, no matter from what angle you look at them from, always appear to come back to the working middle class in France. Many of the “Yellow Vest” protesters, named after the yellow vests they wear during protests found in every french vehicle as a safety staple, are the lower middle-class citizens of France, and while the fuel tax does appear to be what sent everyone over the edge, the “Yellow Vests” aren’t fighting just the fuel tax they’re fighting for a better way of life.

Many of the “Yellow Vest” protesters have said that they barely have enough money to live,  making only about 1000-2000 dollars a month. The tax would’ve just taken them from barely putting food on the table to no food at all. Adding their economic difficulties to a list of growing problems such as the lack of maintenance and advancements in the cities transportation and industrial sectors adds up to all the protest we see today. Today many French students were forced to kneel with their hands behind their heads because they were protesting for a better way of life as well while being held by French officials.

Many people are describing these protest as very similar to what was happening during the time of the French Revolution. Many French citizens feel that they have a president of the elite disconnected from the rest of France and they want change, and they’ll get it one way or another.