Thousands of Yellow Vest Demonstrators marched for the 17th straight Saturday in Paris and cities across France, facing continued violent attacks by riot police.
The day after International Women’s Day, Paris demonstrations began with women, some carrying balloons, leading the peaceful march. Some sang in defiance in front of the riot police lines. Police violently attacked with clubs and tear gas and water cannons against peaceful demonstrators.
The movement, named after the yellow emergency vests French people have to keep in their cars, gilets jaunes or yellow vests. The yellow vest movement was sparked by tax hikes, but has expanded to an array of demands to maintain pressure on the government.The demonstrators are maintaining pressure on the corrupt Marcon administration, calling for him to get out of office and for the government to reverse policies that favor the rich. Calls for a new citizens’ referendum is now also among the movement’s demands.
The government claimed 28,600 protesters around France, with more than 3,000 gathered in the French capital, according to French media reports.
The yellow vests have been a major challenge to Macron, who in his desperation has rolled back the initial tax hikes and organized debates in an effort to corral the people’s discontent back into something the government can control.