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France’s govt exaggerates Yellow Vest threat to justify measures of political repression

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I live right in the heart of Paris, overlooking the Prime Minister’s office, Hôtel Matignon, and a short distance from the scenes of some of the violence witnessed last Saturday. Ever since the Yellow Vests started to demonstrate at the beginning of December, I have seen, just outside my own front door, the massive police presence defending the seat of government while leaving the rest of the city, and indeed the rest of the country, to the mercy of rioters.

Cars were burned only a few streets away from where the serried ranks of the CRS (special police) were scrupulously preventing pedestrians from walking to the shops, while the ministry whose gate was smashed in with a fork-lift truck on Saturday is only five minutes’ walk away.

Now, after the eighth series of weekend demonstrations, the French government has announced new laws to prevent demonstrations even before they happen. 80,000 police are to be mobilised for the demonstration expected next Saturday, 12 January, even though last Saturday there were reportedly fewer than 4,000 demonstrators. That would mean 20 policemen for every demonstrator.

Are there perhaps really more demonstrators than the official figures admit, or is the goal to deter them from demonstrating completely? And is a broken ministry door really a threat to the values of the Republic, as the government........

© RT.com