yellow vest act 17 March 2019
© RT
The Yellow Vest protests continue into week 17
Police in Paris have deployed water cannon and tear gas against anti-government 'Yellow Vests' demonstrators. As the protests enter their 17th straight week, the government has been accused of using excessive force.

Although turnout has decreased since the Yellow Vests movement began in November, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Paris and other cities throughout the country again on Saturday, voicing their opposition to the economic policies of President Emmanuel Macron that they say benefit the rich but not the majority.

On the Champs-Elysées, riot police hosed down the demonstrators with jets of water and deployed tear gas.

The fresh round of protests comes days after UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called for a full investigation into reports of excessive use of force by the French police, which left over 2,000 injured and dozens maimed.

Violent clashes between demonstrators and armored riot cops were filmed again on Saturday.

The movement's organizers have planned a massive demonstration for next Saturday, timed to coincide with the end of President Macron's three-month 'Great National Debate,' a public forum aimed at quelling the tide of dissent in France and forging "a new contract with the nation."

Despite the hardships, the Yellow Vests are still being creative in their protests.
flash mob yellow vest paris airport
© Agence France-Presse / Lucas Barioulet
Yellow vests at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, near Paris, on March 9, 2019
French Yellow Vest protesters staged a flashmob at Charles de Gaulle airport Saturday in an attempt to reinvigorate protests against the government's economic policies, in particular, the privatization of the airport.

Footage posted to social media from inside the airport shows dozens of Yellow Vests making their way through the airport's Terminal 1 before occupying its food court. Holding banners that read "Those who sell France are traitors" and "ADP selling = betrayal," the protest specifically targeted the privatization efforts of Aéroports de Paris (ADP).
yellow vests paris airport
© AFP / Lucas Barioulet

Initially started as a protest against rising fuel costs, the Yellow Vest movement has morphed to include wider discontent against economic polities of President Emmanuel Macron that they say favor rich and big business. One such reform involves the multi-billion euro sell-off by the French state of its 50.6 percent stake in ADP, which runs the capital's three main airports.
Now in its 17th consecutive week of Saturday protests, the flashmob is one of several new types of action being implemented by the Yellow Vest movement to reinvigorate their campaign. Recent weeks have seen dwindling numbers amid regular clashes between some protesters and police.

At its peak in November, Yellow Vest actions were attracting some 282,000 citizens across the country. Last week's action, however, just attracted 39,300 demonstrators nationwide.
yellow vests paris airport
© Agence France-Presse / Lucas Barioulet