French 'yellow jacket' protest an early warning to Macron

Emmanuel Macron swept aside France's traditional parties to win the presidency. He tamed unions as he reformed the labour market and income tax, all without much mass protest. Now, though, his presidency is being shaken by a grassroots movement with no real leadership.

Organised through social media, the so-called yellow jackets shut down key transport links at times last week and on Saturday, police used tear gas and water cannon to contain thousands of protesters on the Champs-Elysees who lit fires and ripped up cobblestones. Polls show they have the support of three-quarters of the French.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2018, with the headline 'French 'yellow jacket' protest an early warning to Macron'. Print Edition | Subscribe