Emmanuel Macron has been facing severe backlash over his plans to reform the French labour code and implement new taxes. But despite buckling to pressure and scrapping plans to implement a fuel tax increase, members of the Yellow Vest movement have remained active and continue to protest across France. And pressure on Mr Macron appeared to once again rocket as protesters called for ‘revolution’ as they marched for the 38th consecutive week.
Several hundred people walking down from Place de Clichy, near the Moulin Rouge, to Place de la Republique in central Paris on Saturday could be heard chanting the word “revolution” as they made their way to their final destination.
A man wearing a black beret and holding a megaphone can be seen at the front of the picket inciting demonstrators to keep screaming.
The demonstrators could also be seen carrying signs commemorating Steve Maia Caniço, a 24-year-old music fan who disappeared after Police cracked down on a free party on the Loire river in Nantes. Emergency services rescued 14 people who had fallen into the river after the police intervened but Mr Maia Caniço’s body was only recovered five weeks later.
An inquiry carried out in the aftermath of the young man’s death did not find any connection between the raid and Mr Maia Caniço’s disappearance and consequent death.
At times it seems vain taking to the streets to let out our anger and indignation
One of the signs spotted read: “Justice for Steve, justice for all.”
Calling on Parisians to step out and join the protests against Mr Macron and his Government, organisers said: “At times it seems vain taking to the streets to let out our anger and indignation at a dramatic event, at injustice. But we have no other choice.
“It’s all of society which should be mobilised and revolted – unions, political parties, NGOs, associations, celebrities. On Saturday, more than ever, let’s all get out on the streets of Nantes, Paris and everywhere.”
Yellow Vest protests across France began in mid-November over planned fuel tax hikes and growing living costs, but rapidly swelled into a broader demonstration against the Macron government, widely seen as aloof and indifferent to the struggles of the working class.
The weekly protests had all but ground to a halt but picked up again in July after French lawmakers approved the ‘CETA’ EU-Canada trade deal, which opponents say undermines the bloc’s social and ecological regulations by importing products made under conditions that would not be allowed in Europe.
A new poll from Elabe earlier this week showed Mr Macron’s approval ratings plunged severely amid the ongoing protest. The survey suggested the French President is now relying on 28 percent of voters – a three-point slump compared to June.
The poll questioned 1,002 French adults between July 30 and 31 and also found 67 percent of respondents disapprove of the work the banker turned President has been doing.
The latest numbers seem to back up Mr Macron’s own claims that the anger the Yellow Vest demonstrations have come to symbolise has yet to subside.