On Tuesday, trade unions and the yellow vest movement joined together launching a national strike, expanding the growing movement against Emmanuel Macron’s government. As Yellow Vests and union members marched, parliament passed new authoritarian measures to crush the movement.
The yellow vest movement was joined by the CGT union for the nationwide strike and demonstrations that brought 30,000 into the streets of Paris. Some smaller unions are in favor of continuing strikes indefinitely. Police fired tear gas at marchers in Paris and across the country.
The bill lawmakers passed in France’s lower house of parliament will authorize government officials to ban people seen as a threat to public order from protesting. The bill, will also make it a crime for a protester to wear a mask, with a penalty of $17,000 and a year in jail. The law still needs to be passed through the senate.
Wearing face coverings has become a common occurrence during protests for those trying to protect themselves from the effects of tear gas and ammunition fired by police. Police violence that has led to thousands of people injured many severely, people losing hands and eyes.
One politician opposed to the new law, last week called it “pure madness” and likened it to France under the Vichy regime, France’s Nazi-collaborationist regime.