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Yellow vests: low turnout for Act 7

rfi English, Dec 30

Sporadic clashes broke out Saturday during Yellow Vest protests, but the momentum for their movement appears to be waning.

Saturday afternoon, there were less than a thousand Yellow Vests gathered in Paris, Marseille (South), and Nantes (West).

In Bordeaux the turnout was higher as 2,400 people shouted "Macron resign!”.

Some clashes broke out as demonstrators gathered west of central Paris, with riot police firing tear gas to disperse them.

Hundreds of demonstrators, some chanting "Journalists collaborationists!" gathered at the headquarters of television networks BFM and state-run France Televisions.

In the city of Rouen, the police used tear gas and flashballs against a thousand protesters, according to police.

At Banque de France, Rouen's nationally-run bank, protesters burnt down the main door by setting alight stockpiled garbage bins.

Movement dying out?

Overall, the movement seems to be on a downward path.

38,600 yellow vests took on the streets on December 22.

There were 66,000 protesters last week and 282,000 for the first day of demonstrations on November 17, according to government figures.

However, several members of the movement say the decrease is only due to the holiday season and predict a high turnout in January, despite measures by President Macron to calm the movement.

New protests are expected on Paris' Champs-Elysees on New Year's Eve, amid a lights display that typically attracts large crowds of spectators.

 

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