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Student protests in France: More than 700 arrests –

France's government does not get the protests under control. The situation is also escalating in schools. But the biggest riots could be imminent.

The protests against the French government have also reached the schools. On Thursday, nationwide, thousands of high school students and high school students took part in protests against future stricter selection criteria for admission to a university or against cuts in teaching staff.

According to the French Ministry of the Interior, 700 students were temporarily arrested. At 280 schools across the country, the operation had been disturbed by the protest, at 45 institutions he was no longer possible.

Blockades since Monday

Since Monday students and students are now blocking educational institutions. If the Minister of Education does not give a strong response soon, there will be deaths, said the President of the National Student Union, Louis Boyard, the station BFMTV. He feared violence during the protests – and at the same time called for calm.

According to the broadcaster, around 100 educational institutions in the greater Paris area were affected by the actions. There were also protests at universities. Some areas of the Paris Sorbonne University remained closed. According to media reports, several people had previously tried to occupy parts of the university.

In cities like Marseille and Bordeaux, protesters set fire to trashcans and cars and clashed with the police.

Macron's announcement does not reassure

The announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron to suspend the planned tax increases for petrol and diesel for the year 2019, can not seem to calm the "yellow vests". At the same time, the protest was ignited by these increases.

France is bracing itself for more riots next weekend. Several 1,000 violent criminals would be targeted for riots in Paris, according to a communiqué from the Élysée Palace, the official residence of the president. Prime Minister Édouard Philippe also warned in an interview with TF1: "We are dealing with people who do not come to protest, but to destroy." He announced that around 89,000 police officers were to be deployed across the country on Saturday, 8,000 of them in Paris, equipped with a dozen armored vehicles.

Due to the expected protests, the Eiffel Tower will be closed to visitors on Saturday, according to the operators on the website of the landmark. Other museums and sights, especially around the boulevard Champs-Elysées, also want to suspend their business.

The French Football League draws consequences: five games were canceled at the weekend, including the top match between Paris Saint-Germain and HSC Montpellier. According to the AFP, the police forces that had been scheduled in the stadiums are now being used to provide security during the protests.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe called on the French not to participate in the demonstrations announced by the "yellow vests". "Not to play the game of those who are already preparing to spread unrest and chaos," he said.

Police union vigi solidarity with "yellow vests"

The unrest in France is reinforced by the announcement of the police union vigi, on Saturday to enter into an indefinite strike. A press release states that it is "time to show solidarity with the" yellow vests ".

The union server collapsed after the announcement. In vigi, employees of the police department and the French Ministry of the Interior are organized, such as craftsmen, who maintain the police vehicles, or caterers, who provide the police with food during their missions. Vigi is a relatively small union. Their announcement to take part in a Saturday strike on the protests of the "yellow vests", but caused in the French media from a disturbed echo.

Act number four

For the past three Saturdays spokespersons for the protest movement had called for demonstrations in Paris. Last Saturday, it had come to the worst riots in decades.

Now the "yellow vests" called for the act number four, as it says in the relevant Facebook groups.

This time, they want to push right into the center of power, as one of their spokesman, Éric Drouet, quietly announced in a discussion broadcast on French television. As a target of the demonstrations, he gave the Élysée Palace.

What they want to do there, he was asked by the rather perplexed moderator. "We're going in. That's the symbol of the Republic," Drouet replied. "People want to go in there, that's all." The authorities want to offer everything to security forces, which is available.

With information from Martin Bohne, ARD Studio Paris

Deutschlandfunk reported on this topic at 6:19 pm on 6 December 2018.



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