FRENCH CONNECTIONS - Who are the 'gilets jaunes' (yellow vest) protesters?

France Scraps Fuel Price Hikes After Weeks Of Protests Calls For Calm

Paris riots continue despite fuel tax delay

The yellow vest protests began November 17, with 300,000 low- to middle-income demonstrators expressing outrage over fuel costs, which have gone up 20 percent in the past year as a result of Macron's plan to tax carbon use.

Demonstrators were back in the streets Tuesday wearing their signature yellow vests. And on a highway near the southern city of Aubagne, protesters took over a toll booth to let vehicles pass for free.

Fuel tax rises which sparked weeks of violent protests in France have now been dropped from next year's budget, the government has announced. Violent rampaging last Saturday devastated the French capital. The Arc de Triomphe was sprayed with graffiti and vandalised.

"This anger, you would have to be deaf and blind not to see it, nor hear it", Philippe said after more than a fortnight of demonstrations by so-called "yellow vest" protesters.

One unifying complaint among the leaderless protesters, who come from across the political and social spectrum, has been the anger at Macron and the perceived elitism of France's aloof ruling class.

He has refrained from speaking publicly about the protests and has largely remained in his palace residence.

On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe declared a six-month moratorium on the fuel tax increase and suspended electricity and gas price surges for three months following three-week-long protests across France.

The Elysée also confirmed the announcement to network France 24.

He added that "no tax should endanger national unity" and the "violence must stop".

He also visited local government offices in the central town of Puy-en-Velay, which were torched during a protest last weekend - and was booed upon leaving.

The yellow vest protests were originally spurred by a squeeze on household spending brought about by Macron's taxes on diesel, which he said are necessary to combat climate change and protect the environment.

"The important thing is that it can be applied as of 1 January", she said.

A demonstrator holds a French flag during a protest of Yellow vests
A demonstrator holds a French flag during a protest of Yellow vests

"It's delayed, but there must not be any retreat by the government", Lambert said.

The fuel tax increase was part of France's effort to control carbon emissions by making it more expensive to drive, thus prompting less driving.

What has the prime minister said?

"It's a change of course".

"I am glad that my friend @EmmanuelMacron and the protesters in Paris have agreed with the conclusion I reached two years ago", Trump tweeted.

"The Paris Agreement is fatally flawed because it raises the price of energy for responsible countries while whitewashing some of the worst polluters...in the world".

"We too want a freeze on the planned closures of coal plants", the CGT union said in a statement.

Since then, the "yellow vest" protests have developed into a movement against Macron.

In the nearby port city of Marseille, students clashed with police outside a high school.

Numerous demonstrations were over a new university application system.

There were people caught on camera chanting "we want Trump" but this demonstration took place in London in June and it was held in support of far-right activist Tommy Robinson.

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said that among the protesters were people from across the country who had descended upon Paris with the express intent of causing trouble. Juppe cancelled the reforms on December 15.

Iran vows to continue missile tests despite U.S. sanctions
She added, "The global community can not keep turning a blind eye every time Iran blatantly ignores Security Council resolutions". Insisting it would only use missiles for defensive purposes, Iran has repeatedly rejected negotiations over its missile program.

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