Paris Braces for Another Weekend of Violent Protests
Officials in France are bracing for the ninth straight weekend of protests by the yellow vest movement. National police chief Eric Morvan in an interview with France Inter radio said officials are expecting the number of protesters to be back to the levels that were seen prior to the holidays and are expecting the protests to continue to be violent. Last weekend saw around 50,000 protesters, a number up from the holidays but nothing near the 300,000 that turned for the first protest in November.
Paris chief of police Michel Delpuech said his forces face the unpredictability of the protesters which poses problems. According to Delpeuch, his forces will be spread out around the city. Hopefully by keeping forces spread around Paris they will be able to more quickly react to issues as they arise around the city. He hopes keeping the forces mobile will allow them to react and make arrests more quickly and shortening the duration of violence, should it occur.
Police will be stopping and searching protestors over the weekend. Authorities will be looking to confiscate weapons as well as protective gear that might make the protestors more willing to engage with police. Around 80,000 police officers will be working around the country this weekend with around 5,000 of those forces in Paris.
The yellow vests are demonstrating against French President Emmanuel Macron and his government. Protesters claim that Macron's policies are aimed to help the wealthy and are disconnected from the every day lives of the ordinary French citizens.
The US Embassy in France has issued a statement to travelers to exercise caution around France this weekend.
H/T: The Local
Featured Photo by Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images.