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protests
December 8, 2018

French authorities on Saturday searched and arrested about 700 people and detained around half of them for possession of makeshift weapons, like hammers, as thousands of "yellow vest" protesters assembled in Paris for the fourth consecutive weekend.

Police have blocked access to many major monuments, like the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, after some demonstrators last weekend turned to rioting and vandalism. "We have prepared a robust response," said Interior Minister Christophe Castaner ahead of Saturday's events. "Violence is never a good way to get what you want. Now is the time for discussion."

Originally prompted by a gas tax hike, the protests take issue with France's high cost of living more generally and the administration of French President Emmanuel Macron. The new fuel tax has been canceled, but the demonstrations continue with demands for Macron's resignation, higher wages, lower taxes, and more.

"We have come here for a peaceful march, not to smash things," yellow vest demonstrator Guillaume Le Grac, who traveled from France's northwest region of Brittany, told Reuters. "We want equality. We want to live, not survive." Bonnie Kristian

December 2, 2018

More than 220 people were arrested in Paris on Saturday as "yellow vest" protesters assembled for the third straight weekend.

Authorities say around 100 people were injured when some demonstrators rioted, vandalizing the Arc de Triomphe, attacking police, and damaging and looting cars and stores. The French government may impose a state of emergency.

French President Emmanuel Macron plans to initiate a dialogue with the yellow vests, but a government representative, Benjamin-Blaise Griveaux, said policy changes are not being considered. "We won't change course. It's the right direction. We are certain of that," Griveaux affirmed in a radio interview.

The demonstrators are angry about Macron's presidency, rising taxes, and high costs of living more broadly. "Our purchasing power is severely diminishing every day. And then: taxes, taxes, and taxes," Paris resident Hedwige Lebrun told The Associated Press. "The state is asking us to tighten our belts, but they, on the contrary, live totally above all standards with our money." Bonnie Kristian

November 24, 2018

Large-scale protests continued in Paris for a second consecutive weekend Saturday, with demonstrators registering their anger over fuel tax hikes and French President Emmanuel Macron's tenure more broadly. This time, the "yellow vest" protesters were met with an aggressive police presence, including use of tear gas and water cannons.

Parisian police estimated 8,000 protesters were on site, contained by some 3,000 police officers. Officials told The Associated Press six arrests were made, though no one was injured in the demonstration.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner claimed the demonstration was influenced by extremists from "the far right." "Their freedom of expression will be guaranteed," he said, "but it must not be exercised to the detriment of security, public order, and the right of everybody to come and go."

More than 15,000 demonstrators are estimated to have assembled elsewhere in France Saturday. Last weekend's protests were far larger, with around 250,000 people turning out around the country. Bonnie Kristian

November 18, 2018

One person was accidentally killed and more than 200 injured in large-scale protests against higher fuel taxes in France on Saturday.

An estimated 250,000 people, many wearing yellow safety vests, turned out in about 2,000 locations around the country to block roads and highways. The new tax was supported by French President Emmanuel Macron, and demonstrators called for his resignation. Macron's approval rating was at a dismal 21 percent as of October.

"We are not political people; we do not belong to a union; we are citizens," said one protester near Paris, Didier Lacombe. "The taxes are rising on everything. They put taxes on top of taxes. It is not the tax on gas; it's everything. The injustice is greater and greater."

"The price of fuel is as politically and sociologically sensitive as the price of wheat in the ancient regime," French public opinion researcher Jerome Fourquet told The New York Times. High wheat prices were among the factors leading to the French Revolution. Bonnie Kristian

November 8, 2018

Tens of thousands of protesters marched in 900 cities across the United States on Thursday night, showing their support for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In New York City, more than 6,000 people marched from Times Square to Union Square, holding signs that said "Nobody is above the law" and chanting "Hands off Mueller!" Organizers quickly mobilized after the forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, saying on the Nobody is Above the Law website: "Donald Trump has installed a crony to oversee the special counsel's Trump-Russia investigation, crossing a red line set to protect the investigation. Our hundreds of response events are being launched to demonstrate the public demand for action to correct this injustice."

President Trump named Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, as the acting attorney general, and he will now oversee the Mueller probe, taking over for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Whitaker has said he believes the Department of Justice should withhold funding from the special counsel and questioned its scope. Catherine Garcia

September 25, 2018

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and his wife, Heidi, were heckled out of a restaurant in Washington, D.C., on Monday night by a group of protesters chanting, "We believe survivors."

Footage posted by the activist group on Twitter shows that one protester initially questioned Cruz about how he plans to vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and Cruz declined to answer, saying, "God bless you, ma'am." Then, as chanting continued — mostly on-message, aside from one assertion that Cruz's election challenger, Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), is "way hotter" than the sitting senator — Cruz decided to leave:

This is not the first time a prominent Republican has been thus protested. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled in a Mexican restaurant in June, as was senior policy adviser Stephen Miller. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant by its owner. Bonnie Kristian

August 12, 2018

Organizers of the white supremacist Unite the Right 2 rally expected hundreds of supporters to attend the event Sunday in Washington, D.C., but just 24 or so showed up, CNN reports.

Jason Kessler, the organizer of the event, said more people would have shown up but many were confused about transportation. There were at least 1,000 counterprotesters, who shouted, "Nazis go home!" and "Shame! Shame! Shame!" The first Unite the Right rally one year ago in Charlottesville, Virginia, was violent and ended in the death of counterprotester Heather Heyer.

During Sunday's rally, participants listened to a few impromptu speakers, and not long after left in several white vans. One white nationalist told CNN there weren't very many supporters at the rally because "people are scared to come out after what happened last year." Catherine Garcia

August 12, 2018

More people are likely heading to Washington to fight racism than to support it.

Organizers of last year's "Unite the Right" rally, the white nationalist march that turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia, are holding a second demonstration in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. Only a few hundred participants are expected at the "white civil rights" protest, and they will probably be well outnumbered by anti-racist counter-protesters.

"[These neo-Nazi groups] are pretty famous for overestimating their turnout and backing down when it turns out that there's a really massive response to what they're doing," a Georgetown professor of justice and peace studies, Mark Lance, told The Hill. In addition to the main event permit, the National Parks Service has granted permits to groups including D.C. United Against Hate and New York Black Lives Matter.

"We have people coming to our city for the sole purpose of spewing hate," Mayor Muriel Bowser said of Unite the Right. "We denounce hate, we denounce anti-Semitism, and we denounce the rhetoric we expect to hear this Sunday." Bonnie Kristian

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