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A weekend of peaceful and not-so-peaceful protest in France

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Reportage. Friday was the climate march, followed quickly by the March of the Century, organized by trade unions and civil society. The yellow vests also, in their 18th appearance, took to the streets, where a minority of them began to set things on fire.

written by Anna Maria Merlo

Topic European Union


March 18, 2019

The numerous demonstrations that crossed through Paris on Saturday shared one slogan: “The end of the world, the end of the month, the same culprits, the same struggle.”

In the afternoon, the Marche du siècle (“March of the Century”) started at the Opéra, organized by NGOs and trade unions the day after the young people’s climate protest, in an attempt to foster “a climate and social springtime” (an event which featured 45,000 participants in Paris, confirmed by an independent source, and over 300,000 in the whole of France according to the organizers). It was a calm and cheerful event, with slogans brimming with irony (an example: “Macron, you’re screwed, the pandas are marching in the streets”—referring to the humorous incident back in December when Mrs. Macron was attacked by an angry baby panda).

At the same time, other marches crossed through the French capital: a protest against police violence on behalf of the 500 people wounded during the four months of fighting between the police and the yellow vests, a march of solidarity with migrants that left from the Madeleine,........

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