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France's 'Yellow Vest' riots: What you need to know

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The protests have turned deadly.

(ABDULMONAM EASSA/AFP/Getty Images)

Protests in France that began over President Emmanuel Macron's announced gas tax increase have escalated into costly, sometimes deadly riots, with no clear end in sight, according to NPR.

Four people have died, hundreds have been injured and hundreds more have been arrested since the protests began last month. According to the French Interior Ministry, 37,000 police officers, 30,000 firefighters, and 30,000 members of the ministry's armed forces were deployed over the weekend in an attempt to control the protests.

What the protests are about: French President Emmanuel Macron announced an increase in gas taxes that would, beginning in January, raise the price of gas in France by about 30 cents per gallon.

Drivers, mostly in rural areas at first, protested this tax claiming that they were already struggling enough. The tax especially impacts those in rural areas who rely on cars to get around, as opposed to those in urban areas who have the option of public transportation.

The tax was implemented as a part of Macron's environmental strategy to reduce the nation's reliance on fossil fuels.

In France, drivers are required to keep a yellow safety vest in their cars. After the gas tax, the yellow vests became a symbolic identifier for protesters, including those who are protesting broader economic issues in France, not just the gas tax.

Where it's all happening: The protests began in France's rural provinces but have spread to the cities, including Paris, as middle and working class citizens join the protest for their own reasons, including some calling for higher minimum wage and some even calling for Macron to resign and for the country to hold new elections. His policies have led some in France to view him as a president who favors the rich.

How people have died: Yellow vest protesters set up roadblocks which, according to NPR, led to three people being killed in separate car accidents. The fourth person, an 80-year-old woman in Marseille, was killed when a protester threw a tear gas canister into her home.

How Macron is handling it: Macron returned from the G-20 Summit in Argentina on Sunday and met with top government officials, who are considering declaring a state of emergency. He has, so far, remained unwilling to compromise on any of his economic policies in response to the riots.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has met with members of Parliament to talk through ways to ease tensions, and he is reportedly attempting to meet with representatives of the yellow vest movement, however those representatives canceled a scheduled Tuesday meeting over safety concerns.

Seeing is believing: Here's some body cam footage of just how chaotic and dangerous these riots are:


Bodycam Footage of France's Yellow Vest Protests and Paris Riots | New York Post www.youtube.com

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