France

French anti-fuel tax protesters plan to bring Paris to a standstill

Motorists in Paris and perhaps the surrounding region will be advised to avoid travelling by road on Saturday.

That's because the so-called "yellow vest" movement, which has grown out of anger over rising fuel prices, is planning a major operation on Saturday that they hope will ring the French capital to a standstill.

A call by a member of the rightwing Debout La France (Stand Up France) party for protesters to descend on Paris on Saturday and "block" the city has been viewed over 165,000 times on Facebook.

In the Facebook video Frank Buhler said: "All of you must spread out throughout Paris, occupying all the streets whether on foot, on horseback or by car.

"November 24th will see Paris blocked, on November 24th Paris will be a dead city," he continued.

Another Facebook page calling for a mass rally on Saturday in Paris "because there is where the government is!" had also garnered widespread interest.

One of the main yellow vest organisers Eric Drouet took to social media to call on protesters from all over the country to converge on Paris Place de la Concorde from 8 am – 11 am this Saturday.

Some 175,000 people have signalled they are interested in going to the event that Drouet has dubbed "Act 2, the whole of France to Paris!".

He wrote on Facebook, “we expect everyone, truck, bus, taxi drivers, chauffeurs, farmers, etc. … Everyone!”

"We must deliver a coup de grace and all head to Paris by whatever means possible," said Drouet.

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On Saturday the yellow vests organised approximately 2,000 roadblocks, rallies and traffic slowdowns in France to highlight their anger with President Emmanuel Macrons government over increases in taxes on fuel and their genera loss of spending power.

On Saturday afternoon protesters blocked the Champs Elysees avenue and headed towards the Elysée Palace before they were dispersed by police.

The protests continued on Sunday and Monday albeit the turn-out was far lower.

The government has warned that the anarchic nature of the roadblocks threatens the safety of both demonstrators and drivers – there were over 400 people injured during Saturday's protests.

A 63-year-old demonstrator was run down Saturday by a panicked motorist at a roadblock in the eastern Savoie region.

A handful of skirmishes were also reported on Sunday night, including in the northern port city of Calais where an Australian truck driver and a British motorist were detained after trying to force their way through a barricade.

Original Article

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