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  • Yellow vests protesters attend a demonstration at La Defense financial district in Paris, France, April 6, 2019.

    Yellow vests protesters attend a demonstration at La Defense financial district in Paris, France, April 6, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 April 2019

The number of protesters increased in spite of the Anti-riots law and its threats.

Police Saturday arrested at least 50 people as the Yellow Vests were performing their 22 consecutive weekend protest against France's President Emmanuel Macron.

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Summoned through social networks, almost 6,000 people gathered in the city of Toulouse, where 23 people were arrested when marches were trying to depart from the Allee Jean Jaures avenue and its nearby side streets to downtown areas in which demonstrations had been banned.

In Paris, Yellow Vest demonstrations were also confronted by the police, which arrested 27 people, according to data available at the end of the afternoon. The Minister of Interior Christophe Castaner acknowledged that, in comparison to last weeks demonstrations, the number of citizens protesting increased and reached 31,000.

This week Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presented some results of the "consultations" that the government made with the population to detect their main demands.​​​​​​​

However, given that the Macron administration has not been able to find real solutions to the citizen's requests, it is expected that the Yellow vest will come out once again next Saturday, April 17.

In the context of the ongoing political and economic crisis, President Macron published the "Anti-Riots law" (Loi Anti-Casseurs) on March 11. According to this norm, anyone can be imprisoned for one year and receive a fine of 15,000 Euros if he or she is at, or nearby, an event that may disturb public order. ​​​​​​​It also authorizes the police to check any suitcase or vehicle.

The Constitutional Council, nevertheless, refused to validate the article 3 of the Anti-Casseurs law, which grants power to administrative authorities to arrest any person who presents a "threat of special gravity for public order".

The Yellow Vest movement began in November 2018 as a way of rejecting increases in fuel taxes and the neoliberal austerity measures proposed by Macron. Subsequently, the citizen mobilization demanded additional measures to increase the French people's purchasing power.

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