Paris is a city that remains in turmoil and violence—all because of increasing diesel fuel prices. Over the weekend, rioters took their anger over increasing fuel prices to the streets where police had to use water cannons on them.
An estimated 5,000 protesters converged on the Champs-Elysees, angry over a proposed tax increase on diesel fuel. They were among 100,000 who protested across France over the weekend.
While diesel fuel prices in Oklahoma are at an average of $2.94 in Oklahoma City, in Paris, they reached more than $5 a gallon. The actual price in France is $1.35 a liter which figures to be slightly more than $5.10 a gallon.
The high prices sent thousands into the streets Saturday, burning and fighting with police. Making things more difficult for police were how the demonstrators wore high visibility jackets, thus their name—Yellow Vests.
The zone included the Elysee Palace – Mr Macron’s official home – and the Place de la Concorde, opposite the National Assembly, France’s parliament.
Senior French ministers have slammed the ‘radicalisation’ and ‘anarchy’ involved, claiming far-Right and hard-Left elements have hijacked the protests.
Two road deaths have been linked with the protests so far – both at illegal road blocks set up by the Yellow Vests.
There have also been 553 woundings, 17 of them serious.
More than 95 police have been hurt in a variety of disturbances, including an attempt to storm the Elysee Palace last weekend.
Five thousand police had been deployed in the Paris area. They had set up metal barriers around the Champs Élysées to stop protesters reaching key buildings such as the president’s office and the national assembly.
Most demonstrators insisted that they were peaceful. “We are not here to pick a fight with cops, We just want the government to listen to us,” one of their spokespeople, Laetitia Dewalle, told AFP news agency.