French citizens are voicing their displeasure over tax hikes on fossil fuel meant to combat so-called climate change. Protestors have taken to the streets all over France for the past two weekends to rally against “green” taxes that have caused the price of gasoline to rise up to 20 percent.
The French interior ministry reported nearly 300,000 protestors across the country on November 17 and just over 100,000 this past Saturday. In some spots, protests became violent and tear gas and water cannons were used to break up rioting. Police have arrested 130 people, 69 of those in Paris when violence broke out on the Champs-Élysées.
During the November 17 protests, as many as 750 people, including 136 police officers, were injured in the sometimes-violent demonstrations.
French President Emmanuel Macron reacted to the protests on Twitter: “Thank you to our forces of order for their courage and professionalism. Shame on those who attacked them. Shame on those who have abused other citizens and journalists. Shame on those who tried to intimidate the elect. No place for this violence in the [French] Republic.”
The protesters have become known as the “Yellow Vest” movement because of the government-mandated high-visibility vests that French motorists must have in their vehicles in case of breakdown. Many of the protesters have taken to wearing these vests while protesting in a show of solidarity. Yellow Vest protestors are, generally, from more rural areas in France, since they are being hit by the new fuel taxes much harder than those in urban areas. The Yellow Vests perceive that the new taxes are being pushed on them by urban Parisian elites who have no ear for their concerns.
The vast majority of protesters are peaceful. One French government official, interior minister Christophe Castaner, blamed “ultra-right” factions for the violence connected with the protests.
Paris deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire blamed the violence on non-affiliated extremists who seem to show up anytime there’s a protest. “We are all well aware that it’s a very small minority who for several years have attached themselves to protests each time in order to smash everything up.”
An ardent climate alarmist, Macron has battled with President Trump over America’s proposed withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords. The new tax on fossil fuels is one way that Macron has proposed to lower carbon dioxide emissions in France. While noting the protesters’ concerns, the French president is not backing down in his stance.
“What I’ve taken from these last few days is that we shouldn’t change course because it is the right one and necessary,” Macron said, adding, “The longer we wait, the worse the effects of climate change will be.”
Trump weighed in on the protests from a strictly American point of view. “The large and violent French protests don’t take into account how badly the United States has been treated on Trade by the European Union or on fair and reasonable payments for our GREAT military protection,” the president noted in a tweet.
On January 1, fuel taxes in France are set to rise again — 2.9 cents per liter on gasoline and 6.5 cents per liter on diesel. Another increase is set for January of 2020.
Macron did offer protesters a small concession by proposing a mechanism to adjust tax hikes if they occur at the same time oil price hikes happen internationally, which occurred this year, resulting in the spike of French fuel costs. Macron also proposed national consultations every three months with affected groups, including Yellow Vest members, on strategies for accelerating France’s transition away from fossil fuels, which is the overall objective.
So, he’ll listen to people’s complaints and make them feel as if they’re part of the process but, ultimately, do whatever he wants.
Macron, at 40 years old, is the youngest president in modern French history. He campaigned on the promise of allowing people to keep more of their money by revising labor laws, lowering contribution levels for social benefits, and lowering taxes. Like Donald Trump, his erstwhile ally, Macron rose to power on a populist platform. Unlike Trump, he has strayed far from those promises, instead choosing to please globalist masters in the European Union and the United Nations. He has sold out the French people in order to take his seat at the table of the New World Order.