As France braces for a new wave of protests, a government spokesman warned that radicals are using the Yellow Vest movement to pursue their own goals and one of them is to topple the current leadership.
Some 89,000 officers, armored vehicles belonging to military police and increased vigilance – that’s how the nation is getting ready for Act IV, the fourth Saturday of Yellow Vest rallies. This time the protesters say they are to “stay on their course,” despite the authorities agreeing to abandon the fuel tax hike.
Recalling the violence of the previous rallies, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux warned about provocateurs. “Radicalized elements try to exploit the movement. They want to overthrow the authorities,” he told Le Parisien newspaper on Thursday.
Also firearms may “circulate” at the upcoming protests, Griveaux warned, saying that previous protests have already resulted in casualties. “True Yellow Vests can’t serve as human shields. Those who are in these demonstrations don’t allow police to proceed with the arrests,” he added, appealing to “everyone’s responsibility.”
Griveaux’s statement echoed earlier reports in the French media claiming that Saturday’s demonstrations may be hit by unprecedented violence caused by both “radicalized…extreme right and extreme left.”
Sources insisted that there may be even a coup attempt at the Elysee Palace. One of the leaders of Yellow Vests added fuel to the fire by saying that they plan to approach the official residence of Emmanuel Macron. “Saturday is the Elysee, we would all like to go to the Elysee,” he said on Thursday.