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29 Mar, 2019 12:58

Macron divides Yellow Vest protesters into goodies & baddies during school visit

Macron divides Yellow Vest protesters into goodies & baddies during school visit

As part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s ‘Great Debate’, he visited a school in Maine-et-Loire. Asked his thoughts on the Yellow Vest protests, he swiftly divided the protesters into two groups.

Macron spoke with schoolchildren for roughly two hours, as part of his weeks-long national debate on the issues affecting France, seen by some as a cynical ploy to outmaneuver Yellow Vest protesters and his political opponents ahead of the European parliamentary elections in mid-May.  

When asked, “What do you think of the Yellow Vests?” Macron split the protest group into two types: those “looking for solutions” to societal problems in France, and those he “doesn't like.”

Also on rt.com Apart from Champs-Elysees: Yellow Vests hold protests across France despite place bans (VIDEOS)

In Macron's estimation, those who began the protests in November 2018 had legitimate concerns about increasing costs of living and rising inequality, making them ‘good’ protesters.

“People got angry, occupied roundabouts and said: we want things to change,” Macron told the children. But then a different element entered the protests, he argued, “ultra violent people” who “want to break everything” and became the most visible participants on TV.  

He continued that he could understand the inception of the Yellow Vest protests and that he “wanted to give them an answer,” but he decried the agitators as “people who do not care that things improve.”

“They just want things to change completely and want to impose their will on others,” Macron claimed.

The president’s comments come after the 19th weekend of Yellow Vest protests, during which the French military was deployed to secure government buildings and key sites, including the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Also on rt.com French police ban Yellow Vest protests from Champs-Elysées area of Paris

Attempts at reining in the violence by authorities at the protests have led to repeated high profile injuries to protesters, including blindings. Macron himself was heavily criticized for his handling of the hospitalization of an elderly protester following police intervention at an “unauthorized protest” in Nice last week.

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