French ‘Yellow Vest’ Protests Mark 11th Week of Anti-Macron Marches

Thousands of so-called “yellow vest” protesters marched in France Saturday, in the 11th week of demonstrations against French President Emmanuel Macron’s economic reforms.

Reuters news service estimated the total number of protesters at 22,000 by mid-afternoon.

Most protests were peaceful, but in Paris there were a few violent incidents at Bastille Square, at the endpoint of the day’s march. Some demonstrators took their protest march down the iconic Champs-Elysees before heading across the French capital toward Bastille Square.

Some protesters there started fires or launched projectiles at police. Officers fought back with tear gas and water cannons and made several dozen arrests.

Some of the protesters have announced plans to hold night demonstrations in addition to the daytime marches.

Marches also took place in Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille, and Lyon.

The protesters gained their nickname from the fluorescent vests they wear while marching, which are safety vests French drivers are required to keep in their cars.

Protests around the country began November 17 against a planned fuel tax increase. The demonstrations have transformed into protests largely against President Emmanuel Macron’s liberal economic reform policies.

Reacting to the movement, Macron in December made tax and salary concessions.