The French riot over the new gas tax

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The French riot over the new gas tax

Reprinted from bbc.com

Reprinted from bbc.com

Reprinted from bbc.com

Lizzy Snow, Copy Editor

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The gas tax raise passed in France led to widespread riots from conservatives and others uneasy over the French government’s power. President Emmanuel Macron has been attempting for years to slowly take the French off of fossil fuels to slow climate change and reduce greenhouse gases.

The decision to pass the controversial gas tax that raised prices by 17 cents a gallon, caused massive backlash. These “yellow vest” riots started on November 17 and continued over three weeks. French President Macron suspended the gas tax until further notice. However, the riots are continuing into their fourth week.

The riots weren’t just about climbing gas taxes, but they were also an effect of various social and ethical issues plaguing France. The violence fueled riots evolved into a cry of social justice and reform in France over high unemployment, low wages and high taxes.

After three weeks of rioting, four people died, hundreds were injured and multiple businesses and residencies were vandalized. Schools and universities were shut down due to unsafe conditions, and the minister of education was asked to step down by students and educators alike.

The anti-government “yellow vest” riots were the worst since 1968, burning wealthy streets and cars to ashes. The 1968 riots were over similar issues, such as high taxes and a broken education system. Like Macron, the French president in 1968 was considered out of touch with the common people and their issues. Additionally, tear gas and force have been used to calm the rioters.

After French President Macron’s decision to cancel the tax came a tweet from American President Donald Trump, claiming Macron’s decision proved Macron didn’t believe in climate change.

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The French riot over the new gas tax