Saturday 23 March, 2019

Watch: French drivers block oil depots to protest fuel price hikes

French drivers blocked oil depots and disrupted traffic toward the tunnel beneath the English Channel on Monday as they tried to keep up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron's government to abandon fuel tax hikes.

Scattered road blockades have continued since mass protests on Saturday that left one protester dead and hundreds injured.

 

Around 20,000 protesters took part in some 350 actions on Monday around France, including on a highway leading to the tunnel used by Eurostar trains to Britain and other roads, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Frederic De Lanouvelle.

“The watchword (for us) is not to give up. We won't give up, that's how it is, he (President Macron) can do what he wants, we won't give up. We are here, we are more or less everywhere, at the blockades, we are letting cars through, but we are still here,” said one protester.

About 30 people were arrested overnight as police tried to clear out protesters, a security official said.

The protest movement represents drivers of various backgrounds, notably those who rely on their cars to get to work.

The protesters called themselves "yellow jackets" after the safety vests French drivers are obliged to keep in their cars for emergencies.

The protests reflect broader frustration at Macron, whose government is sticking to the fuel tax rise as part of efforts to clean up the environment.

 

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