Comment: There was yet another massive Yellow Vest turnout across France today. Tens of thousands of security forces again broke up their gatherings with copious amounts of 'tear' gas, mass arrests, baton charges, and 'flash-ball' grenades. Dozens of people were seriously injured. Journalists and anyone filming events were targeted by police, who have apparently been tasked with minimizing the appearance online of their heavy-handed clampdown on pro-democracy protesters. This tactic doesn't appear to be working...

yellow vests acte 23
© Michel Euler / AP
Acte XXIII: A Yellow Vest protester - aka a French patriot - at Place de la République, Paris, 20 April 2019.
Yellow Vests protests brought clashes and tear gas back to the streets of Paris, despite politicians' calls for "unity" in the wake of the Notre Dame fire. For protesters, the response to the fire only showed more inequality.

Saturday's protests mark the 23rd straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations, but the first since Notre Dame de Paris went up in flames on Monday. Officials were quick to criticize the protesters for returning to the streets so soon after the disaster.

"The rioters will be back tomorrow," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on Friday. "The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame."

Comment: Well that's a interesting statement. Not only does he smear a movement supported by 80% of the population as 'rioters', the Interior Minister is lamenting that the Notre Dame Fire didn't put out the Yellow Vest fire.

Is he suggesting that that's what it was intended to do?

For many of the protesters, grief over the destruction of the 800-year-old landmark has made way for anger. With smoke still rising from Notre Dame, a group of French tycoons and businessmen pledged €1 billion to the cathedral's reconstruction, money that the Yellow Vests say could be better spent elsewhere.

"If they can give dozens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, they should stop telling us there is no money to respond to the social emergency," trade union leader Philippe Martinez told France 24.
yellow vest protest paris
© Francisco Seco / AP
Paris today, 20 April 2019
Saturday's protests saw a return to scenes familiar since the Yellow Vests first mobilized in November to protest a fuel tax hike. Demonstrators in Paris' Bastille district set barricades on fire and smashed vehicles, and police deployed tear gas to keep the crowds at bay.

Some 60,000 police officers were deployed across the country, while a security perimeter was set up around Notre Dame in Paris. A planned march that would have passed the site was banned by the authorities, but sporadic incidents of vandalism and looting took place across the city, with at least one car torched.
yellow vest protest acte XXIII
© Francisco Seco / AP
There were also clashes between protesters and gendarmerie in the capital. The police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowd, arresting 189 people, according to France Info.

Yellow Vest rallies also took place in Nantes, Pau, Caen, Montbeliard, Bordeaux, Lyon and other French cities. The total number of people who took to the streets on Saturday reached 9,600, with 6,700 of them protesting in Paris, the Interior Ministry said.

Comment: Yeah RIGHT! 10 police to every protester?!

Beginning as a show of anger against rising fuel costs in November, the Yellow Vests movement quickly evolved into a national demonstration of rage against falling living standards, income inequality, and the perceived elitism and pro-corporation policies of President Emmanuel Macron. Over 23 weeks of unrest, Macron has made several concessions to the protesters' demands, but has thus far been unable to quell the rising dissent.

yellow vests protest
After Notre Dame caught fire on Monday, the president postponed a television address to the nation, during which he was expected to unveil a package of tax cuts and other economic reforms, another measure to calm the popular anger in France.

Macron's address will be held on Thursday.

Comment: Here's more footage from the Yellow Vest protest in Paris today.

The following shows just a portion of their march towards Place de la Republique:

In case there's any doubt how serious they are...

Here's the moment people (again) gathered at Bercy, site of France's Ministry of Finance:

Place de la Republique was again Ground Zero:

Police surrounded Place de la Republique and charged protesters, injuring dozens:

The Yellow Vests honored Assange:

Here the police specifically target someone filming events - in this case independent journalist @GaspardGlanz, who they arrested:

The media, of course, just pretends none of this happened:

The situation is HOT in France just now:

And all of the above is just footage from Paris. Protests again took place in cities and towns the length and breadth of the country.

CorpGov media reports that 60,000 police and gendarmes were deployed, nationwide. Assuming a more realistic ratio of one policeman to 10 protesters, then you would expect the true Yellow Vest turnout nationwide to be in the region of half a million people - at least.

Their specific political demand remains 'RIC', which they want to see committed to in the French constitution. RIC stands for Référendum d'Initiative Citoyenne - popularly initiated referenda, like they have in neighboring Switzerland. More generally, they're protesting against rising costs - many in France must choose between heating their homes and eating.

In theory, once the people have RIC, they can turn the ship of state around themselves. In such a democracy, the whole (current) political class would be rendered unemployed. Which is why they're fighting so aggressively to maintain the status quo...