French yellow vest protesters set life-threatening fires, smashed up luxury stores and clashed with police Saturday in the 18th straight weekend of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron. Large plumes of smoke rose above the rioting on Paris' landmark Champs-Elysees Avenue, and a mother and her child were just barely saved from a building blaze.Limited success has been the French way. There's more:
French police tried to contain the demonstrators with limited success.
Yellow vest groups representing teachers, unemployed people and labor unions were among those that organized dozens of rallies and marches Saturday in the capital and around France.The two takeaways?
Protesters dismiss Macron's national debate on the economy as empty words and a campaign ploy by Macron to gain support for the European Parliament elections in May. Protesters are angry over high taxes and Macron policies seen as coddling business.
"Those who participated in this great debate are mostly retirees and upper middle class, meaning Macron's electorate, even though we understood this great national debate was supposed to respond to the yellow vest crisis," lawyer and protester Francois Boulo told Europe-1 radio.
- Great debates are mostly crap; and
- There will be no response that threatens a bureaucrat's rice bowl
The yellow vests aren't coherent themselves, of course. But they aren't going away.