RAMIN MAZAHERI—he French government is under fire for continually giving low estimates of turnout for Yellow Vest demonstrations. Multiple groups consistently put the number of Yellow Vests at 3 to 4 times the official figures. Ramin Mazaheri has more on this story from Paris. This is a PressTV report I did with the Union of Angry Policemen – (Syndicat France Police policiers en colère) it is a real cop union, the 5th largest, despite the goofy name. They are permanently angry, it seems. This is all about how totally undercounted the Yellow Vests are – this union has pegged the Vesters’ numbers at 3-5 times the ministry’s numbers, which are total bullshit.
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RICHARD GREEMAN—After five months of constant presence at traffic circles, toll-booths and hazardous Saturday marches, the massive, self-organized social movement known as the Yellow Vests has just held its second nationwide “Assembly of Assemblies.” Hundreds of autonomous Yellow Vest activist groups from all over France each chose two delegates (one woman, one man) to gather in the port city of St. Nazaire for weekend of deliberation (April 5-7).After weeks of skirmishing with the municipal authorities, the local Yellow Vests were able to host 700 delegates at the St. Nazaire “House of the People,” and the three-day series of general meetings and working groups went off without a hitch in an atmosphere of good-fellowship. A sign on the wall proclaimed: “No one has the solution, but everybody has a piece of it.”
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AMY GOODMAN—The weekly protests began last year when France announced plans to hike gas taxes, with demonstrators across France taking to the streets to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s government. The demonstrators gained their name by wearing the yellow safety vests that French drivers are required to keep in their cars in case of emergency. Since then, in protests that have now lasted five months, the “yellow vests” have called out Macron’s pro-business economic policies, demanding fair wages for working- and middle-class citizens, and heavier taxation on the wealthy. We go to Paris to speak with Alexis Poulin, the co-founder of the news website Le Monde Moderne.