Yellow Vests look to keep up pressure with 22nd consecutive Saturday of protests

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Sat, 13 Apr 2019 - 01:02 GMT

Pascal Pavani, AFP | Anti-riot police officers walk amid smoke as "Yellow vests" protesters take to the streets for the 22nd consecutive Saturday, on April 13, 2019, in Toulouse.

Pascal Pavani, AFP | Anti-riot police officers walk amid smoke as "Yellow vests" protesters take to the streets for the 22nd consecutive Saturday, on April 13, 2019, in Toulouse.

France’s Yellow Vest protests continue on Saturday, marking the 22nd consecutive weekend of demonstrations. Thousands have gathered in Toulouse, the “capital” of this edition, the first since a controversial anti-rioting law took effect on Thursday.

Several hundred people had begun marching in Paris by 1pm on Saturday. Protests are also slated for Marseille, Grenoble, Lille and other cities.

On social media, Yellow Vest protesters in Toulouse were called on to keep up the fight against President Emmanuel “Macron and his world” and to “show that everything is just getting started after the results of the big debate”.

Prime MinisterÉdouard Philippe on Monday presented the initial findings of a vast, nearly three-month-long public consultation known as the Grand Débat. Macron launched the initiative in January in response to the Yellow Vest unrest saying he “intend[ed] to transform violence into solutions”.

The new anti-rioting law, which was partially censured by the country’s Constitutional Council before taking effect and which has been condemned by dozens of organisations, makes it illegal to cover one’s face during demonstrations.

Last week, “Act 21” of the protests drew 22,300 people into the streets, the Interior Ministry said, the lowest official figure since the demonstrations began in mid-November.

Saturday’s showing is due to serve as merely a foretaste to larger demonstrations slated for April 20, with Macron expected to present his response to the nationwide debate in a speech in the interim.

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