France Considers Martial Law to ‘End Civil Unrest’ Amid Paris Riots
Macron is now considering deploying military troops on the city's streets
As the Paris fuel protests escalate into civil unrest, Emmanuel Macron denounced the carnage promising to bring the protesters to justice as the country faces a 'state of emergency.'
Macron is now considering deploying military troops to bring martial law to the city's streets as angry protesters torched cars, smashed windows and clashed with police.
In France's worst urban rioting in more than ten years, the activists, known as 'yellow vest' protests, launched the rebellion against fuel tax hike but has developed into weeks of civil unrest spreading across the city.
So far, there have been 133 people injured, including 23 police officers, and a total of 412 arrests.
Macron visited the Arc de Triomphe, a landmark which was taken over by the protesters calling for him to resign, as the French government considers commanding a state of emergency to prevent the uprising.
The French leader will hold a crisis meeting today with his prime minister and interior minister in a bid to tackle the public challenging his presidency.
A symbol of the French Republic, the Arc de Triomphe smashed with graffiti scrawled on the exterior.
A government spokesperson stated it was 'out of the question that each weekend becomes a meeting or ritual for violence' following a consecutive weekend of violence.
I’m sure many of you have absolutely no idea what’s taking place in Paris right now...over a fuel tax protest.— WWG1WGA (@findtruthQ) December 1, 2018
They are protesting Marcon and Globalism. Multiple slides in this thread. pic.twitter.com/5h4VLORmEH
Many of the protesters called for the French President's resignation as they gathered on the Champs Élysées where they faced police who were trying to stop them from reaching presidential Élysée Palace.
While some protesters sang the French national anthem, others carried signs with slogans saying “Macron, resignation” and “Macron, thief.”
State of Emergency
Imposing a state of emergency would give extra power to the French government to carry out stop-and-searches and raids on suspected rioters homes.
Cars and Christmas trees where some of the many objects engulfed in flames as violence continued into the night.
On a 19th-century arch, protesters wrote:
'The yellow vests will triumph', while along the Champs-Elysees, peaceful demonstrators held up a slogan reading, 'Macron, stop treating us like idiots!'
The last state of emergency in France was imposed in 2015 following terrorist attacks by Islamic State.
Protests insist the riots are the start of a revolution:
'We are in an insurrectional climate,' said Frederic Lagache, of the Alliance police union.
For the first time in history, sixteen identity checkpoints and police barricades have been set up on the Champs Elysees, but the measures have failed to stop the rioting.
'No cause justifies that authorities are attacked, that businesses are plundered, that passers-by or journalists are threatened or that the Arc de Triomphe is defiled.
'Those guilty of this violence don't want change, they don't want improvements, they want chaos. They betray the causes that they pretend to serve and which they manipulate,' Macron said.
'They will be identified and brought to justice for their actions. I will always respect debate and I will always listen to the opposition but I will never accept violence,' he added.
The end of Macron?
Last month, a poll from Nov. 4 from the Institut Français D’opinion Publique (IFOP) revealed French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist party Republic on the Move (LREM) plummeted to 19%, while Marine Le Pen's right-wing Rassemblement National (RN, formerly National Front) soared to 21%, according to Euractiv.
In another poll from Elabe shows RN at 20% while Macron's LREM at 19.5%.