Several thousand “yellow vest” protesters marched through Paris and other French cities on Saturday on the 12th weekend of action against the government, despite opinion polls pointing to a recovery in President Emmanuel Macron’s popularity.
The protests – named after the fluorescent jackets French motorists are required to carry in their cars – began in mid-November over plans to raise fuel taxes before developing into a broader revolt against the government that mobilized tens of thousands of demonstrators nationwide each Saturday.
The government warned on Friday police would not hesitate to use flash balls in case of violence by demonstrators after it was authorized by France’s highest administrative court.
Protesters in Paris on Saturday paid homage to those injured in the past months, denouncing the use of flash ball riot control guns banned in much of Europe.
Between 10,000 and 13,800 protested in the capital according to police and independent media estimates. Riot police used tear gas to disperse some protesters who set bins and a scooter alight, although the situation remained relatively calm compared to previous weekends. Thousands also took to the streets in cities, including Tours, Valence, Marseille and Bordeaux.
About 1,000 police officers have been injured along with 1,700 demonstrators since the start of the protests, according to official figures.
“It’s true that this intermediate weapon can hurt, but faced with rioters, the police need it to defend themselves against those who attack them,” said Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.
Opinion polls show a recovery in Macron’s battered popularity rating after he launched consultations, including town hall debates, to try to quell social unrest.
A Harris Interactive poll of 1,000 people on Friday showed Macron gaining 4 percentage points since December taking him to a 35 percent approval rating.
As in previous weeks, protesters on Saturday carried French flags and held signs attacking Macron as out of touch or calling for referendums tabled by citizens.
Protesters injured in previous weeks of violence were put at the front of the protests with some wearing eye patches with a target sign on them.
The Interior Ministry said 80,000 security officials had been mobilized, including 5,000 in Paris.
Chris Wallace fact-checks his own Fox News colleagues after their denials of Trump’s quid pro quo
As US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland gave his testimony in the House impeachment hearings this Wednesday, Fox News contributor Ken Starr acknowledged that Sondland's testimony all but guarantees that articles of impeachment will be drawn up against President Trump. He also posited that Trump "gave himself enough cover" regarding Sondland's September 9 conversation with Trump where he said the President allegedly said, "I want nothing, I want nothing, I want no quid pro quo."
"Well, I think that Ken Starr and [Fox News contributor] Andy McCarthy are very good lawyers," Wallace said. "And like any good lawyers they can parse this, phrase this any way they want, but as a reporter it seems to me that we have to go to what the headline is today, and the headline is that Gordon Sondland, one of the three amigos, perhaps the one who had the most direct contact with Donald Trump, says in his opening statement, 'Was there a quid pro quo with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting? The answer is yes.'"
Conservative attorney dismantles GOP arguments against impeachment: ‘Trump’s abuse threatens your freedom’
A conservative attorney knocked down Republican arguments against impeachment one by one in a viral tweet, and urged others to support the removal President Donald Trump.
Bryan Gividen, an appellate attorney from Dallas, touted his conservative bona fides by describing himself as a "pro-religious liberty, pro-life, would snort Cocaine Mitch’s judicial confirmations" if he could -- but still said he supports Trump's impeachment.
"At this point, there is no question that President Trump directed U.S. officials to withhold security funding to the Ukraine so Ukraine would investigate the Bidens," Gividen began. "That is the kind of abuse of the President’s authority we should not tolerate."
Trump turns bizarre handwritten notes into all-caps Twitter rage spasm: ‘I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO!’
President Donald Trump on Wednesday wrote down his impeachment inquiry talking points in sharpie marker.
While leaving the White House for a visit to Texas, Trump read his notes to reporters, but refused to take questions.
During the flight, Trump then tweeted out his notes to his 66.9 million Twitter followers.
....”I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO! TELL PRESIDENT ZELENSKY TO DO THE RIGHT THING!” Later, Ambassador Sondland said that I told him, “Good, go tell the truth!” This Witch Hunt must end NOW. So bad for our Country!