Yellow Vests Hold Protests Across France for 17th Weekend

(Bloomberg) -- The 17th Saturday of protests by France’s Yellow Vests passed without major incidents as the movement’s momentum appeared to wane.

There were 28,600 protesters throughout France, according to the Interior Ministry, down from 39,300 a week ago and the lowest turnout since the movement began. There were 3,000 protesters in Paris, compared with 4,000. That’s way down from the hundreds of thousands who took to the streets at the start of the movement at the end of last year.

Yellow Vests Hold Protests Across France for 17th Weekend

The protests in Paris were mostly peaceful, with women leading the march down the Champs Elysees avenue a day after International Women’s Day. There were skirmishes as police prevented some protesters from leaving the march’s agreed route.

Near Nantes, protesters threw rocks at police who were trying to eject them from a shopping center, Agence France-Press reported. A group of about thirty Yellow Vests who planned to camp all weekend near the Eiffel Tower in Paris were removed by the police Friday night.

Recent polls have all shown that a majority of French people now want the Yellow Vests to stop their protests, which began as a movement against gasoline taxes before morphing into a wider series of demands with sometimes violent acts. President Emmanuel Macron has responded by organizing a series of town hall meetings across France to debate issues ranging from taxation to electoral systems.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.