France’s deadly and growing protests, in 17 pictures

feibisi / 2018年12月4日

Tear gas surrounds protesters as they clash with riot police during a “yellow vest” demonstration in Paris, France, on December 1, 2018.

Cars on fire. Police fighting protesters. Tear gas everywhere. Welcome to France.

The images coming out of France right now show devastation, violence, and a nation in the throes of unrest.

The country is currently experiencing widespread protests and riots that have led to massive clashes with police. Over the past three weeks, four people have died, hundreds have been injured, and thousands of dollars’ worth of property has been damaged.

The protests started around November 17 when French drivers sporting yellow vests led a demonstration of 280,000 people across the country to push back against rising taxes on gas and diesel. French President Emmanuel Macron, as part of his many economic reforms, announced the gas taxes earlier this year to minimize France’s reliance on fossil fuels.

The tax will increase the price of fuel by about 30 cents per gallon and will continue to rise over the next few years, the French government says. Gas already costs about $7.06 per gallon in France.

The protest movement — now known as gilets jaunes, or “yellow vests” — has blockaded streets and highways, burned cars, and brawled with police in response to the price hike. The riots in Paris last weekend are the largest the city has seen in nearly five decades.

This public discontent and anger is the greatest threat to Macron’s young presidency yet — in part because demonstrators also target his leadership — and threatens to tear a divided country even further apart.

Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting Macron’s fuel tax and general leadership in Paris and across the country

 Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP/Getty Images
 Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP/Getty Images
 Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images
 Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP/Getty Images

On Saturday, French law enforcement deployed nearly 100,000 officers in Paris to control the demonstrations. Protesters violently pushed back, and officials have responded with tear gas, stun grenades, and water cannons.

 Lucas Barioulet/AFP/Getty Images
 Lucas Barioulet/AFP/Getty Images
 Nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images
 Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images

Protesters have also blocked access to many parts of the country. It’s had an impact: At least 75 gas stations owned by Total, a French energy company, have no fuel to sell because of the blockade.

 Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images
 Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of dollars’ worth of property has been damaged. Shops and restaurants in Paris have lost an estimated 20 to 50 percent of their revenue since demonstrations started.

 Nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images
 Michel Stoupak/NurPhoto via Getty Images
 Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images
 Michel Stoupak/NurPhoto via Getty Images
 Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images

Macron and his top staff met on Monday to discuss ways to quell the unrest. France’s prime minister will meet with “yellow vest” leaders on Tuesday.

 Zakaria Abdelkafi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

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