France 'yellow vest' protesters defy government to gather

Sunday - 16/12/2018 00:11
AFP / The French capital is experiencing its fifth Saturday of tear gas and clashes
AFP / The French capital is experiencing its fifth Saturday of tear gas and clashes
"Yellow vest" protesters have gathered in Paris and other cities for a fifth consecutive Saturday of demonstrations.

Protesters defied a government call to suspend the action following Tuesday's attack on Strasbourg's Christmas market where a gunman killed four people.

But the numbers appear to be low. In Paris, slightly more than 2,000 have turned up compared to 10,000 last week.

The movement, initially against a rise in fuel taxes, now addresses other issues, including education reforms.

The gilets jaunes

Seven people have died in the "gilets jaunes" (yellow vest) protests so far, the latest in an accident resulting from a blockade by protesters on Friday.

How is this Saturday shaping up?

Overall, so far some 33,500 have turned out across the country, police say. This includes Bordeaux, Marseille, Lyon, Nantes, Toulouse and others.

About 69,000 police have been mobilised across France to prevent a repeat of the violence of previous weeks.

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