Remember the yellow vest protests in France? They haven’t stopped. Indeed, as one journalist reports, “Saturday insurrections are now institutionalised in Paris, and also across the country, as far as Marseille and Toulon.”
Some 80,000 law and order agents, including 5,000 in the capital, will be mobilised this weekend, along with armoured cars, water cannons and apparently unlimited supplies of chemical weapons. Luc Ferry, a former conservative education minister, has already suggested that live ammunition should be used to quell growing attacks on police.
And now it looks like some of the protesters are preparing to level up the disruption:
Activists from a French protest movement encouraged supporters Wednesday to set off a bank run by emptying their accounts, while the government urged citizens to express their discontent in a national debate instead of weekly demonstrations disrupting the streets of Paris.
Activists from the yellow vest movement, which started with protests over fuel tax increases, recommended the massive cash withdrawals on social media. One protester, Maxime Nicolle called it the “tax collector’s referendum.”
“We are going to get our bread back … You’re making money with our dough, and we’re fed up,” Nicolle said in a video message.
The movement’s adherents said they hoped the banking action will force the French government to heed their demands, especially giving citizens the right to propose and vote on new laws.
In the meantime, copycat yellow vest protests have been spotted in Belgium and the Netherlands, Britain, Canada, and even Bulgaria, Israel, Iraq and Taiwan. The Egyptian government banned the sale of yellow vests in December.