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Act X: What to expect from the 'Gilets Jaunes' in France this Saturday

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Act X: What to expect from the 'Gilets Jaunes' in France this Saturday
Photo: Ludovic Marin, AFP
16:48 CET+01:00
In France, the 'yellow vests' are gearing up for a tenth day of protests this weekend, despite the launch Tuesday of the government's 'national debate' aimed to find an answer to their grievances. Here's what to expect.
Two months after France's Yellow Vests protests began and despite some signs that the unprecedented grassroots movement is abating, the 'Gilets Jaunes' have called for a tenth day of nationwide protest this Saturday.
 
Calls to mobilise for 'Act 10' have flourished on social media, with different groups calling on supporters to gather in Paris and others cities around the country.
 
By Thursday, although no official demand to strike - as is mandatory for any legal protest in France - had yet been filed with the police, thousands of people had shown interest or liked different Yellow Vest Facebook groups calling to march.
 
 
 
The government had been hoping that its 'national debate' launched earlier this week would soothe or put an end to the popular discontent. On Tuesday, it launched a three-month nationwide initiative intended to address the protesters long list of grievances.
 
But calls to protest on social media appear to show that many Gilets Jaunes aren't yet ready to give up the ghost.
 
"Act 10 is operation outnumbered! Come with at least 2 friends who have never been before. Try and be persuasive, tell them that everything will be ok, that they have to come and see it for themselves. If each and every one of us does that, next Saturday will be a turning point!", wrote a Yellow Vest on a Facebook page, calling people to come and march on the Champs-Elysées. By Thursday, over 30,000 said they were 'interested'.
 
"Paris is back for Act 10 of the protest! Debating won't solve anything, everybody knows what the people are asking for! Less elected officials, less privileges, more transparency and for the people to be systematically consulted in case of disagreement! A democracy, a real democracy!" commented a user on another Yellow Vest Facebook page.
 
In the capital, some of the meeting points mentioned are the Champs-Elysées, Bastille or the Invalides. Outside of the capital, calls for protests in many other French cities such as Lyon, Marseilles, Nantes, Bordeaux or Béziers have also appeared.
 
Some protesters are even hoping to extend the Saturday protest over the whole weekend. "I hope we'll stay from Saturday morning until Sunday evening. We're in this together, long live the Gilets Jaunes!' commented one user on the Yellow Vest Facebook Page 'Acte 10: Les Gilets Jaunes Nous Triompherons' (Act 10: Yellow Vest we will triumph!') which also had over 30,000 people interested by Thursday afternoon.
 
 
 
France's 'yellow vest' protests: Timeline of unrest
A scene from the December 29 demonstrations. Photo: MEHDI FEDOUACH / AFP
 
Over the past few weeks, the movement appeared to have died down a little with roundabouts where the protesters clustered for days on end in the protests' early days deserted.
 
But 'Act 9' last Saturday saw a surge in the number of Yellow Vest protesters. A total of 84,000 people protested throughout the country up from 50,000 the week before. Meanwhile 8,000 people marched in Paris, mostly peacefully.
 
In December the protests turned violent, with clashes breaking out between individuals and the police and acts of vandalism around the country. Several people have died and hundreds injured since the protests began in November.

The grassroots movement was sparked by an increase on fuel tax but it quickly evolved into a long set of grievances crystalised around Emmanuel Macron and posing the greatest threat to his leadership since he was elected in 2017.Over the past few weeks, the movement appeared to have died down a little with roundabouts where the protesters clustered for days on end in the protests' early days deserted.
 
But 'Act 9' last Saturday saw a surge in the number of Yellow Vest protesters. A total of 84,000 people protested throughout the country up from 50,000 the week before. Meanwhile 8,000 people marched in Paris, mostly peacefully.
 
In December the protests turned violent, with clashes breaking out between individuals and the police and acts of vandalism around the country. Several people have died and hundreds injured since the protests began in November.

The grassroots movement was sparked by an increase on fuel tax but it quickly evolved into a long set of grievances crystalised around Emmanuel Macron and posing the greatest threat to his leadership since he was elected in 2017.
 
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Daniela - 17 Jan 2019 22:04
Vas-y le Gilets Jaunes!! I support you.
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