For the tenth consecutive Saturday the "yellow jackets" took to the streets in France. The demonstrations, which involved thousands of people, have provoked violent clashes, particularly in the city of Bordeaux. The protests took place despite the "great national debate" initiated by the French president, Emmanuel Mácron, to placate the moods.
About 84,000 "yellow jackets" have been reported throughout France, according to data from the Ministry of Interior. In Paris, the mobilization was slightly lower than the participation in previous demonstrations, 7,000 demonstrators, against 8000 last Saturday, according to the same source.
The counting of the authorities has been contested by the demonstrators since the beginning of this unprecedented social movement, which began on 17 November. "Disclaimer of Macron!" It was one of the slogans that was heard, according to AFP, which reports some clashes in the Invalides area, with police using water and tear gas cannons.
The strongest clashes took place outside the capital, particularly in Bordeaux, where, in the margins of a demonstration of 4,000 people, well-organized and masked boys using knives and hammers unearthed stones from the floor to act as projectiles, according to AFP.
In Bordeaux, at least five cars were burned and 49 police were arrested. Clashes with violence were Angers (west), Rennes (west), Rouen (northwest), Caen (northwest), Nancy (east), Lyon (center-east) and Toulouse (southwest) according to police.
"The 'big debate' will not be successful, it will make people talk so they can calm down, but it's the system that needs to be changed," said Paul Merluzzo, 56, one of Nancy's protesters.
On 12 January, according to the figures released by the authorities, over 80,000 people were present in the demonstrations, compared to 50,000 the previous week, which is said to be a "bucket of cold water" in the hopes of the government, in the context of the holidays year-end
Just like a week ago, around 80,000 police officers and militia agents were mobilized, including 5,000 in Paris. In the capital, some protesters wore a rose in honor of the 10 dead and more than 2,000 injured from the start of the movement on 17 November.
Meanwhile, a debate has started on the use of a weapon by law enforcement personnel known as the Bullet Defense Launcher (LBD) as a cause of the serious injuries suffered by many protesters. France, according to AFP, is one of the few European countries that uses LBD.
On Friday, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner defended the use of LBD, without which the forces of the order would have no choice but to "touch", which would cause "much more hurt", according to the king.
President Macron continues to travel through France as part of his proposal for a "major national debate", trying to contain the social crisis, the worst since his election in 2017. In one of the meetings, a mayor told the head of state : I warn you, Mr. President, this debate will become a big bluff! "
The president promises to hear the complaints, but many "yellow jackets" face the "big debate" as a way to bury their claims.