Wednesday 16 January 2019

Yellow jacket demonstration in Dublin shows solidarity with French protesters

Hundreds gathered outside the Custom House

Several hundred people have attended an Irish protest in solidarity with the French yellow jacket demonstrations (Niall Carson/PA)
Several hundred people have attended an Irish protest in solidarity with the French yellow jacket demonstrations (Niall Carson/PA)

Michael McHugh

Several hundred people have attended a protest in the centre of Dublin in solidarity with the French yellow jacket demonstrations.

Irish protesters wore yellow vests and some had hard hats, while others tied scarves over their faces. The chanting was mainly anti-Government in nature.

Those who gathered outside the Custom House overlooking the River Liffey before marching to parliament at Leinster House included pro-Palestinian organisations and socialist republicans.

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Campaigners gathered outside Custom House before marching to Leinster House (Niall Carson/PA)

Others involved in the gathering said they were concerned about the use of fluoride in the public water supply.

The “yellow vest” movement in France, which takes its name from the fluorescent safety vests French motorists must carry in their vehicles, emerged in mid-November as a protest against fuel tax increases.

It soon expanded into an expression of rage about the high cost of living in France and President Emmanuel Macron’s policies.

Meanwhile in France, thousands of protesters took to the streets n the fifth weekend of nationwide demonstrations against Emmanuel Macron's government, despite calls to hold off after a shooting in Strasbourg earlier this week.

In Paris, police were out in force to contain possible outbursts of violence. But several major stores, such as the Galeries Lafayette, were open to welcome Christmas shoppers.

On the Champs-Elysees, a handful of topless activists from the feminist protest group Femen faced security forces a few meters away from the Elysee Palace, the president's residence.

The Interior Minister said around 69,000 police officers were active on Saturday with a reinforced presence in the cities of Toulouse, Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne.

On Friday, President Macron called for a return to calm in France after nearly a month of protests by the so-called 'yellow vest' movement against his government's policies. The demonstrations have hit growth and caused widespread disruption.

"France needs calm, order and a return to normal," Macron said, after a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels.

Press Association

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