Protests to go on despite tighter security

PARIS • Members of the grassroots "yellow vest" movement plan to protest in Paris and elsewhere in France today even as security concerns mount following a terror attack in Strasbourg.

The government has not decided whether to ban the protests, said spokesman Benjamin Griveaux on Thursday in an interview on C-News television.

He added that security forces will be deployed regardless, since more radical elements of the movement "may take to the streets".

People across France have been pulling yellow vests from the trunks of their cars for more than a month to express a whole series of grievances, including anger at President Emmanuel Macron's policies.

In the wake of a terror attack in Strasbourg on Tuesday night, at least one union head, Mr Laurent Berger of the CFDT union, called for a halt to the demonstrations.

But others remain unconvinced. On Thursday, demonstrators from Montceau-les-Mines in eastern France said they would not stop.

Mr Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the leftist France Unbowed party, said he was "surprised" that the terror attack could be used to pressure those who want to demonstrate.

Meanwhile, Ms Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Rally party, said the yellow vest protesters are "not responsible for the terrorist risk", without indicating what her followers should do.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2018, with the headline 'Protests to go on despite tighter security'. Print Edition | Subscribe