French ‘Yellow Vests’ see turnout dwindle on fifth weekend of protests

Benoit Tessier, Reuters | Yellow Vest protesters in Paris on December 15, 2018.

Defiant "Yellow Vest" demonstrators faced off with tens of thousands of police around France on Saturday, but the movement appeared to have lost momentum on a fifth weekend of protests.

  • The interior ministry said 66,000 protesters had been counted across France, down from 125,000 last week
  • Police in Paris fired water cannon and teargas to disperse groups of protesters in sporadic clashes on the Champs-Elysées and adjacent streets
  • Brief clashes were also reported in the cities of Nantes, Bordeaux and Toulouse, but elsewhere the protests were largely peaceful
  • President Emmanuel Macron had urged protesters to hold off after a terrorist attack in Strasbourg earlier this week
  • Facing the biggest test of his presidency, Macron announced a series of concessions on Monday to defuse the crisis that swelled up from rural and small-town France last month

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