Thursday, 17 January, 2019

France PM plans to ban ‘unlawful’ protests, violence

Former French boxing champ surrenders after punching police in protest Ex-boxing champ surrenders after punching French police
Kristopher Love | 10 January, 2019, 04:30

"Macron's government is not up to the expectations and some of the policies he is putting forward, particularly at the European level, are even harmful not only to French citizens but also to Europe", the Italian minister said, citing migration issues as a prime example.

The Ifop poll of 1,014 people was carried out on January 3-4, before the latest marches last Saturday when rioters torched motorbikes and set barricades ablaze in Paris.

Another major demonstration has been called for Saturday, this time in Bourges, central France, instead of the capital.

Mr Philippe told TF1 television, "Today, if we want to defend the freedom to demonstrate... we must evolve our law and supplement our legislative system".

Journalists have been repeatedly attacked while covering protests but Sophia Chikirou, a former campaign director for the far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon's La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, said after earlier disturbances that she feels no sympathy for them.

Unrest in Paris this past weekend saw rioters starting fires on the prestigious Boulevard Saint Germain, engaging in running battles with the police, and running a forklift into a government building to smash down its gates.

The "yellow vest" movement mobilized through social media has forced Macron to reconsider his economic and social recipe for the eurozone's No.2 power by offering a series of concessions to appease angry citizens.

Images of a policeman striking several protesters in the southern city of Toulon on Saturday also risk fanning the flames.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced plans to ban participation in unauthorised protests as the government scrambles to try to end weeks of violent "yellow vest" rallies.

Elected in mid-2017 on a platform of liberalizing the economy, Macron has promised to press on with his reform program and overhaul French institutions in spite of the "yellow vest" crisis.

Republican party head Laurent Wauquiez wrote in a tweet that the move was too little, too late, as it would not take "immediate effect".

"Yellow vests, do not give up!"

Protests against a new fuel tax erupted on November 17 when people across France took to the streets to voice their opposition by organizing traffic blockades.

He added that some yellow vest protesters believed that RT was the only "free media". One had more than 3,000 "likes". There was a recent statement by two ministers from the Italian government who do not hide their support [for the yellow vest movement]...

About 50,000 people took to the streets again on Saturday in cities around France - more than the previous week's protest, but fewer than the 280,000 who turned out in November.