Why ‘Yellow Vest’
The protesters adopted the name after a social-media campaign urging people to take to the streets wearing the high-visibility yellow jackets that must be carried in every vehicle in France.
Reasons for protest
Protestors were angry about the almost 20 percent increase in the price of diesel since the start of 2018, as well as the planned fuel tax hike, President Emmanuel Macron had recently announced, which he had said, were needed to fund renewable energy investments.
A rise in duties on diesel affects many in France as diesel is widely used by French motorists and has long been less heavily taxed than other types of fuel. But protests have also erupted over other issues. The yellow vests want further concessions from the government. Their demands include a redistribution of wealth as well as the increase of salaries, pensions, social security payments, minimum wage and easier university entry requirements.
This movement doesn’t have any clear leaders and much of the organisation is done on social media. Though the government has blamed far-right supporters for violence on the Champs Elysees last weekend, overall the protesters come from diverse social and political backgrounds. An opinion poll found two-thirds of French people back the protests and nearly 80% reject Macron’s proposed tax measures.
The impact of the demonstrations has been keenly felt in France. The government has been forced to bow to pressure and adjust its economic course. President Emmanuel Macron responded to the nationwide street protests by scrapping an unpopular fuel tax rise, and promising an extra €100 a month for minimum wage earners and tax cuts for pensioners.
However, it is far from clear that he has done enough to defuse public anger. The movement's core aim, to highlight the economic frustration and political distrust of poorer working families, has widespread support. Similar demonstrations have taken place in Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Protest has also reached Canada. Many were held across the country criticizing the tax and immigration policies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government.
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