yellow vest protests began last year by the French people to express unhappiness against a fuel tax hike by the government of President Emmanuel Macron. As it kept gaining momentum, the protests expanded to cover a wider range of grievances. It was a way of making the administration aware of the feelings of the masses. At the end of the year, protesters demonstrated in Paris and resorted to large-scale vandalism. It was the 53rd Saturday of Yellow Vest protests and they clashed with the police who resorted to the use of tear gas and water cannons in order to control the crowds.

The Guardian says there is confusion on the number of people who participated. Figures of those who had joined the protests are difficult to ascertain. There is a wide variance between numbers quoted by the interior ministry and those quoted by the gilets jaunes. The former is on the lower side as compared to that of the latter. The public prosecutor’s office indicated on arrests made and noted they took some minors into custody. Police are examining CCTV footage to help identify people who engineered the vandalism that led to widespread damage to property.

Authorities hopefully resolve the issues

Protests are a peaceful method of highlighting issues that hurt the common person and authorities will hopefully try to resolve them at the earliest. Delays lead to complications and in this case, it seems ultras have infiltrated the movement.

That is what a government representative has told a section of the media. She said, “the gilets jaunes movement has been infected by ultras … people who consider that political violence is legitimate. We cannot accept that.”

The Guardian recounts examples of lawlessness. Masked hooligans destroyed public monuments that included a war memorial. They also attacked business outlets and torched vehicles.

In order to ensure the safety of commuters, a number of metro stations and suburban railway stations in Paris did not operate for most of Sunday. Those who are a part of the Yellow Vest movement seem not to care that Paris is a major travel destination and rampant vandalism is affecting its tourism.

Yellow vest rallies affect normal life

According to the BBC, the police in Paris made a number of arrests as protesters rallied to mark the first anniversary of the anti-government Yellow Vest movement.

The police also deployed tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowds. Many of the rioters wore black clothing and used masks to conceal their identities. They set fire to barricades, and vandalized banks. The intention of the protests was to a message to French President Emmanuel Macron. The main grudge of the people is about the government that is ignoring the needs of ordinary citizens. President Macron has tried to quell the protests by promising tax cuts, higher pensions, and reforms, but many people feel much more needs to be done.

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