Macron's hard-line stance against yellow vest protesters backfires

French president Emmanuel Macron ratcheted up the rhetoric against protesters who have been in the streets of Paris for more than two months on Friday, accusing them of promoting revolution.

If he believed that his words would strike fear in the hearts of the yellow vest demonstrators, he was hugely mistaken.

On Saturday, more than 50,000 protesters took to the streets across France, more than double the number from the previous weekend.

Daily Caller:

Nearly 50,000 protesters trampled Sunday through towns and cities dotting France, including Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Rennes and Marseille.  Street marches began peacefully enough in Paris but soon degenerated into a maelstrom of violence and chaos.

Some protesters threw haymaker punches at baton-wielding police officers while other agitators lit cars on fire outside the Champs Elysees.  Much of the sting from the yellow vest protests, which began in November, had dissipated after Macron pulled back on an unpopular carbon tax.

But protests are firing back up with renewed intensity.  They began surging again after Macron promised in a New Year's Eve address that his administration will take a hard line against future protests.

Some believe these protesters "take as a pretext that they are speaking in the name of the people" when "in fact they are merely speaking for a hateful mob" that targets "police, journalists, Jews, foreigners, homosexuals," Macron stated during a Dec. 31 address.

But Macron's own government is blaming "the worst of the violence in recent weeks on anarchists, anti-capitalists and extreme groups on the fringes of the yellow vest movement."  That doesn't sound much like the rioters are right-wing nationalists, as Macron implied.

Guy Millière writing on Gatestone's site believes that France is in "free fall" and that the recent wave of foreigners entering the country is at least partly responsible:

French officials evidently understand that the terrorists are engaged in a long war and that it will be difficult to stop them; so they seem to have given in.  These officials are no doubt aware that young French Muslims are being radicalized in increasing numbers.  The response, however, has been to strengthen Muslim institutions in France.

At the time President Macron was speaking, one of his emissaries was in Morocco to sign the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which defines immigration as "beneficial" for the host countries.  Under it, signatory states pledge to "strengthen migrant-inclusive service delivery systems."

A group of retired generals published an open letter, saying that signing the Global Compact was a further step towards "the abandonment of national sovereignty" and noted that "80% of the French population think that immigration must be halted or regulated drastically".

The author Éric Zemmour described the "yellow vests" revolt as the result of the "despair of people who feel humiliated, forgotten, dispossessed of their own country by the decisions of a contemptuous caste".

Macron has tried the carrot.  He's tried the stick.  With the holidays over, the protests are now beginning to grow again.  And they are spreading across Europe. 

The recent wave of refugees may have been a catalyst for the unrest.  But the resentment of ordinary people against uncaring elites has been percolating for decades.

It won't take much for a real explosion of violence to happen in the streets of Paris and elsewhere in France.

French president Emmanuel Macron ratcheted up the rhetoric against protesters who have been in the streets of Paris for more than two months on Friday, accusing them of promoting revolution.

If he believed that his words would strike fear in the hearts of the yellow vest demonstrators, he was hugely mistaken.

On Saturday, more than 50,000 protesters took to the streets across France, more than double the number from the previous weekend.

Daily Caller:

Nearly 50,000 protesters trampled Sunday through towns and cities dotting France, including Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Rennes and Marseille.  Street marches began peacefully enough in Paris but soon degenerated into a maelstrom of violence and chaos.

Some protesters threw haymaker punches at baton-wielding police officers while other agitators lit cars on fire outside the Champs Elysees.  Much of the sting from the yellow vest protests, which began in November, had dissipated after Macron pulled back on an unpopular carbon tax.

But protests are firing back up with renewed intensity.  They began surging again after Macron promised in a New Year's Eve address that his administration will take a hard line against future protests.

Some believe these protesters "take as a pretext that they are speaking in the name of the people" when "in fact they are merely speaking for a hateful mob" that targets "police, journalists, Jews, foreigners, homosexuals," Macron stated during a Dec. 31 address.

But Macron's own government is blaming "the worst of the violence in recent weeks on anarchists, anti-capitalists and extreme groups on the fringes of the yellow vest movement."  That doesn't sound much like the rioters are right-wing nationalists, as Macron implied.

Guy Millière writing on Gatestone's site believes that France is in "free fall" and that the recent wave of foreigners entering the country is at least partly responsible:

French officials evidently understand that the terrorists are engaged in a long war and that it will be difficult to stop them; so they seem to have given in.  These officials are no doubt aware that young French Muslims are being radicalized in increasing numbers.  The response, however, has been to strengthen Muslim institutions in France.

At the time President Macron was speaking, one of his emissaries was in Morocco to sign the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which defines immigration as "beneficial" for the host countries.  Under it, signatory states pledge to "strengthen migrant-inclusive service delivery systems."

A group of retired generals published an open letter, saying that signing the Global Compact was a further step towards "the abandonment of national sovereignty" and noted that "80% of the French population think that immigration must be halted or regulated drastically".

The author Éric Zemmour described the "yellow vests" revolt as the result of the "despair of people who feel humiliated, forgotten, dispossessed of their own country by the decisions of a contemptuous caste".

Macron has tried the carrot.  He's tried the stick.  With the holidays over, the protests are now beginning to grow again.  And they are spreading across Europe. 

The recent wave of refugees may have been a catalyst for the unrest.  But the resentment of ordinary people against uncaring elites has been percolating for decades.

It won't take much for a real explosion of violence to happen in the streets of Paris and elsewhere in France.