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Gilets Jaunes plan 'festive blockade' at French airports this weekend

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Gilets Jaunes plan 'festive blockade' at French airports this weekend
A protester wears a vest reading 'No to the privatisation of ADP' (Paris Airports) during a 'yellow vest' demonstration. File photo: AFP

After a big day of protests on May 1st, the 'yellow vests' look set for a more subdued weekend in France. However some members of the anti-government have plans for France's airports which could disrupt travellers. Here's what they have in store for Act 25.


As the French government, police and 'yellow vests' are still debating who was behind the violence that took place in the French capital during Wednesday's Labour Day protests, some Gilets Jaunes are busy preparing for Act 25 this Saturday. 
Although admittedly, from the looks of things, not many of them. 
The main action looks set to take place away from Paris city centre, with the focus for this weekend's action on France's airports, meaning those travelling could face some disruption. 
The event, dubbed 'Mum, I'm going to miss my plane', calls on 'yellow vests' to do a 'festive blockade' of airports around the country, particularly at Orly airport in Paris, and Lyon, Toulouse and Nice airports.

'Yellow vest' protesters hold up a sign saying, "Those who sell France are traitors" at a previous demonstration at CDG airport in Paris. File photo: AFP

The action is planned to last over both Saturday May 4th and Sunday May 5th, with organisers calling on participants to come up with "music, dance and shows" to put on at the airports. 
Organisers also specified in capital letters on the event's Facebook page that the protest should be 'peaceful'. 
The aim of the protest is to voice opposition the planned privatisation of France's airports, as well as the privatisation of lottery and scratch-cards monopoly Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) and energy company Engie. 
French President Emmanuel Macron planned to sell the airports and invest the proceeds of the sale in an innovation fund - a key campaign promise -  and reduce the public debt, which stood at 99 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter.
However in early April, French opposition MPs and senators claimed a victory for democracy after using a little-known constitutional article to try to trigger a referendum on the government's controversial plans to privatise Paris' airports.
Despite the fact that there are no big plans for a protest in the centre of the French capital on Saturday, the police aren't taking any chances. 
The Paris police prefecture has ordered the closure of the following Metro stations from 8am on Saturday: Concorde, Champs-Elysées Clemenceau, Miromesnil, Charles de Gaulle - Etoile, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George V, Assemblée Nationale, Invalides, Varenne and Tuileries. 
There are some plans for protests elsewhere around France this Saturday. 
For example, in the central French city of Lyon, 'yellow vests' are planning to align themselves with the Youth for Climate movement. 
This may come as somewhat surprising news for anyone who has followed the Gilets Jaunes from the beginning, with the anti-government group initially starting in opposition to Macron bringing in an ecological fuel tax. 
However the Facebook page for the event insists on the similarities between the two groups, including their "common adversaries", such as  the "system that exhausts the planet to meet the needs of the market and keeps giving to the richest, the government that destroys public services, seriously undermines the freedom of the press and criminalizes the "ecological challenge" and "large companies that do not pay their taxes in France, exploiting and imposing increasingly difficult working conditions on people and polluting and destroying the environment."
The march is due to start at 2 pm at place Jean-Macé although as in recent weeks much of the city will be off limits to protesters. 
Smaller protests and get togethers have also been planned elsewhere in France, including in the town of Dax in south west France. 


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