French police prepare for the next stock “yellow jackets.” Authorities banned demonstrations on the Champs Elysees in Paris and in the centre of other major cities of the country and the interior Ministry promised to strengthen measures to contain the protesters. To the protection of various objects it was decided to involve army units. However, experts note that these measures speak only of the weakness of the French authorities, who can not find a common language with their own people. Power methods do not stop the protesters, a controversial decision, for example, plans to use the military to undermine the authority of Emmanuel Macron, say the scientists.
- © Philippe Wojazer
The Paris police banned the protesters “yellow jackets” to gather on the Champs Elysees. This statement announced the day before on Saturday, 23 March, demonstrations were made by the Prefecture of the French capital.
“Didier Lolman, prefect of police, issued today a decree prohibiting on Saturday, March 23, any collection of people who belong to this movement (“yellow jackets.” — RT), on the Avenue des Champs-elysées and in the perimeter, including the presidential residence and the National Assembly”, — quotes the statement of the police RIA Novosti.
The restriction of demonstrations to announce in other cities of France. So, the leadership of the Haute-Garonne Department banned the protests of “yellow jackets” in the center of Toulouse. It is planned to limit protests in Bordeaux, Metz and Marseille.
The desire to prohibit the holding of shares of “yellow jackets” in the city, previously reported by the mayor of nice Christian Estrosi. At the end of March there should pass a meeting of Emmanuel Macron, the President of China XI Jinping.
After a particularly fierce protests in Paris over the weekend, the interior Ministry replaced the leadership of the Metropolitan police. Thursday, March 21, referring to the new head of the Paris security forces to Lalomanu, interior Minister Christoph Kastner urged him to “zero tolerance” against protesters, reports the Local France.
According to media reports, the French interior Ministry plans to engage a wide set of non-lethal weapons of police against demonstrators, including drones, special coloring markers, gas grenades, guns, shooting rubber bullets.
“The prohibition to gather in European Fields will lead to the fact that the protesters still continue to go out there, but the police will get new powers to counter them, new special funds. As a result, the bitterness of the confrontation and clashes with police will only increase”, — said in an interview with RT expert Center for geopolitical expertise Daria Platonova.
In turn, the head of the Institute of the newest States Alexey Martynov, political scientist argues that in the French capital, “there is a war”.
“Paris goes to the state of siege,” — said in a conversation with RT expert.
- © ALAIN JOCARD
“A terrible decision”
As reported by the French media, in the middle of the week the President of the Republic Emmanuel macron announced its intention to use army units during the protests of the “yellow jackets.”
It is about 7 thousand military, which after the terrorist attacks of 2015 in Paris involved in the operation Sentinelle. Armed with automatic weapons units are mainly used for protection of various objects against possible terrorist attacks. As noted by France 24, the main task of the soldiers during the demonstrations will be to protect government buildings.
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According to the Minister of defence of France, Florence parley, the soldiers will not come in contact with the “yellow jackets” or participate in the dispersal of demonstrations.
However, the plans anyway to use army units during the protests of “yellow jackets” caused the rejection in the French society. The head of fraction of party “the Republicans” in the Senate, Bruno Retailleau called Emmanuel Macron to revise it a “monstrous decision”.
Former presidential candidate of the Socialist party, Benoit Hamon called the plans to bring the military to patrol the streets during the protests “unprecedented”. The head of the list of the socialists in the European Parliament elections Rafael gluksman said that the actions of the French government demonstrates “the failure of Rules to reconcile the French and reduce tensions in society.”
On March 20 during the debate the head of the left movement “France unconquered” Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the party “National Association” (formerly the national front) marine Le Pen highlighted that in the framework of operation Sentinelle military should be involved only to fight terrorists and not be used to counter their own people.
- © Jean-Paul Pelissier
As noted by the French media, it is likely that the military will still have to deal with the protesters. Security expert Elie Tenenbaum recalled that something similar happened during the protests against the reforms of labour legislation in 2016. According to him, the authorities run the serious risk of attracting military personnel to perform security functions during the protests, because soldiers do not have non-lethal weapons.
“Sign of weakness”
As told in an interview to RT, Professor of international relations and foreign policy of Russia, MGIMO (University) of the MFA of Russia Yevgeny Obichkina, anti-terrorism patrols will deal with the radicals because they violated public order.
At the same time the expert believes that the French are concerned about the fact that the President is not overdone with police violence and restrictive measures.
“The French do not want the police and the government crossed the fine line that separates protection of a public order from the increasing pressure and violence of the state establishing a police regime,” — said the analyst.
As said Daria Platonova, “the French government demonstrated its weakness”, trying to cope with the protests solely through repressive measures. According to the expert, seriously initiated by Emmanuel Macron, a “national debate” in which “yellow jackets” do not participate, as a means to appease the French is not necessary, and another decision the President has not yet offered.
“Yellow jackets”, the Elysee Palace is now considered the main danger. Macron afraid of them, but they can’t do,” said Platonov.
According to her, the protests will continue, despite the restrictive measures of the government. In turn, the Makron will remain at a very low level, and the repressive measures will not add to his popularity even among those who are not ready to take to the streets.
According to the latest public opinion poll conducted by the sociological service Elabe, 53% of French people supported the movement of “yellow jackets.” The approval policy Rules, as a rule, does not exceed 30%.
- Emmanuel Macron
- © Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool
“Readiness to raise an army — it is certainly a sign of the weakness of the President, — says Alexey Martynov. The Makron can’t cope with the protest. In order to stop this madness cannot apparently any action on his part. People are not satisfied with what he says and does. Even if the macron suddenly decide to retire, it will hardly save the situation.”