As Americans fill out their brackets, another madness is still plaguing France in March
By Caleb Wright
RALEIGH—Unrest in France continues as the Yellow Jackets, despite the French surrendering time and time again to them, march on in their months-long show of civil unrest.
The “gilettes jaunes”, or “yellow jackets”, are a series of ongoing protests in rural and urban France, mostly in response to the climate change tax and Emanuel Macron’s administration. Working class protesters, often at the receiving end of the perils of regulatory bureaucracy, rose to the streets of France in mostly peaceful yet somewhat violent riots beginning in November. Media attention surrounding the protests has been scattered, especially in the United States, as many networks stake their claim on which side of the political aisle the protestors reside. Some say they are liberal progressives, others say they are libertarians; despite all of this, the yellow jackets have enjoyed massive majority approval ratings abroad.
For almost the 20th straight weekend, clashes between rioters (some rumored to be provocateurs) have plagued the streets of Paris. Although it is also rumored that their numbers have been decreasing over the weeks, violence persists. The Champs de Elysees has been at the center of the violence, with several marks of graffiti, vandalism, and of course, non-violent demonstration. Smoke bombs still explode on the streets months after the 800,000-strong riot in January.
Clashes between the police and protestors has also dwindled tourism, city officials say.
As Americans watch the NCAA tournament and bust their brackets, authorities in France hope to bust upcoming riots before their popularity reignites.