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French Yellow Vests stage ‘Act 21’ of protests

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Protesters from the Yellow Vest movement took to the streets of France for a 21st straight weekend, with hundreds gathered for a march across Paris, one of numerous protests around the country.

Paris police have fine-tuned their strategy of being more mobile and proactive to counter eventual violence since the first Saturday of Yellow Vest protests November 17. The Champs-Élysées avenue is off-limits to protesters after it was hit by rioting last month.

Hundreds gathered in Rouen, in Normandy, a past flashpoint, and hundreds more in eastern Paris at the Place de la République, the start of a march to the business district on the capital’s western edge.

The Yellow Vest movement, demanding social and economic justice, has attracted dwindling crowds but still remains a challenge to President Emmanuel Macron.

In Paris, two marches were authorised by the police. One, was submitted by Sophie Tissier, a representative of the Yellow Vest movement, and the other by Éric Drouet, a well-known figure within the group.

Protests in the provinces

In Rouen, a few hundred people gathered downtown mid-morning Saturday including some trade unionists. Protesters circled around an area barricaded by the police shouting, “Macron, get lost for good!”

Protests also took place in Lyon, Dijon, Nice, Nantes, Montpellier, Bordeaux and Toulouse.

Last week, Act 20 of the Yellow Vest protests saw 33,700 people take to the streets, according to the French Interior Ministry. In a Facebook posting however the Yellow Vest movement claimed 105,104 protesters took to the streets.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

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