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Paris, France — A grassroots movement made up of citizens who have become fed up with the political establishment in France has been growing since early November and it has come to a head this week. The movement, known as “gilets jaunes” or “yellow vests” began as an anti-tax protest but has since merged folks from the left and the right into a much broader anti-government protest.
French citizens have used the yellow vests that their government requires they carry in their vehicles as a symbol of this protest. As the Guardian points out, unlike previous French protest movements, it sprang up online through petitions and was organised by ordinary working people posting videos on social media, without a set leader, trade union or political party behind it.
Over the weekend, roughly 100,000 citizens took to the streets of Paris. Most of these protesters were peaceful, however, some of extremists from the far left and far right engaged in violence against police, smashed out windows, and set fire to cars.
Of those arrested for violence, the majority of them were “professional” rioters who had come from outside