France’s Yellow Vest Protestors Took To The Streets For May Day (HBO)

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets for May Day, in solidarity with millions around the world who marched for worker’s rights. While the French protest every year, these protests were remarkably violent as police fired tear gas at crowds in attempts to control factions bent on rioting, detaining more than 250 protestors by the end of the day.

This was the first May Day rally for members of France’s “Yellow Vest” movement, which began protesting 24 weeks ago against what they see as President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business policies favoring the elite.

The group has proven to be one of the biggest challenges to Macron’s presidency and has already forced the President to make concessions related to taxation, pension reform and the closures of schools and hospitals. By turning up today, the Yellow Vests aligned themselves with a centuries-old movement that’s traditionally seen as pro-union and pro-left.

“Today is May Day. It has nothing to do with a Yellow Vest action. It’s a workers’ celebration,” Jérôme Rodrigues, an unofficial leader of the Yellow Vest’s told VICE News. “Within the Yellow Vest march, you have workers who have gathered here to reinforce their demands, and show that they are workers too.”

Rodrigues joined the Yellow Vests in it’s earlier stages, and in a January rally, lost an eye after being hit with what he believes to be a police-fired projectile. Videos capturing the moment propelled him to the forefront of the movement.

“The problem is that we have a president in France right now who not only doesn’t listen to us, but also mutilates us,” Rodrigues told VICE News. “So why wage a revolution? Because the climate of violence was brought on by the government.”

Turning out today was important for Rodrigues and the Yellow Vests because they’ve been losing momentum as of late. He hopes that the Yellow Vests’ presence at the May Day pro-labour rally will help bolster support for their cause in the future.

“All this diversity— That’s how we win. OK?” Rodrigues told VICE News. “Today, we see that we ignored that [in the past], and that we have recovered something fundamental in France. It’s called fraternity.”

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‘Did we take a wrong turn? Quite the opposite’ – Macron goes on defensive during address

#France #Macron #YellowVests #LesGiletsJaunes

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, has gone on the defensive, claiming he’s done nothing wrong in the way he’s been dealing with the country’s issues.

In a televised address, he made an impassioned plea to the public and the Yellow Vest protesters, who’ve been rocking the country for almost six months now.

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Are journalists covering Yellow Vest protests being targeted? 2 reporters arrested during riots

Journalist organisations have condemned French police after 2 reporters were detained on Saturday – during the 23rd consecutive weekend of the Yellow Vest protests.

‘There’s a question emerging: is there a determination to intimidate journalists? We have an impression some of them are being targeted’ – Vincent Lanier, The National Union of Journalists

‘Since the ‘Yellow Vest’ movement appeared, the number of incidents targeting journalists… when they are filming or photographing, hampers the work of the press and limits the coverage of events which represent crucial public interest’ – Catherine Monnet, Reporters without borders

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RAW: Paris police charge into Yellow Vest chaos, badly injuring a protester

At least one protester suffered a severe injury in Paris on Saturday as the Yellow Vests took to the streets of the French capital for the 23rd week in a row.

Yellow Vests protests brought clashes and tear gas back to the streets of Paris, despite politicians’ calls for ‘unity’ in the wake of the Notre Dame fire. For protesters, the response to the fire only showed more inequality.

Saturday’s protests mark the 23rd straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations, but the first since Notre Dame de Paris went up in flames on Monday. Officials were quick to criticize the protesters for returning to the streets so soon after the disaster.

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RAW: Toulouse police fires tear gas at Yellow Vest protesters

Sporadic clashes with police marred Yellow Vests protests in Toulouse, the city chosen as the ‘capital’ of this week’s anti-government marches in France. Act 22 is the first since a controversial anti-rioting law took effect.

This Saturday marked the 22nd consecutive week of the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ movement as France once again saw anti-government protests, which were held in cities such as Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseilles, and Strasbourg. In the French capital of Paris alone, some 5,000 demonstrators took to the streets, according to the French Interior Ministry.

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Violent clashes erupt at Yellow Vest protest in Avignon

#YellowVests #LesGiletsJaunes #France

Police clashed with protesters at a reportedly banned Yellow Vests demonstration in the south eastern French city Avignon on Saturday.

Several minor injuries resulted from the clashes which took place on the city’s Republic Square.

Protests are being held across France for a 20th week in a row, to demonstrate against the French government’s economic policies.

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Soldiers may be allowed to ‘open fire’ if lives put at risk by Yellow Vests – military

French soldiers will be allowed to open fire during Yellow Vest protests if lives are put in danger by rioters. That’s according to an army general, speaking ahead of a 19th consecutive weekend of nationwide demonstrations on Saturday.

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