"Yellow vest" activists are urging French citizens to empty their bank accounts and spark a massive run on French banks in their long-standing fight with the government. Ahead of a ninth straight weekend of planned protests in Paris and across France, yellow vests are issuing calls on social media for massive cash withdrawals from banks.
The yellow vest revolt, driven by high living costs and frustration at President Emmanuel Macron's leadership, shows scant sign of abating after two months of unrest, even after he made some tax and minimum wage concessions.
Protesters hope the move will force the government to listen to their demands, notably their call for more direct democracy through the implementation of popular votes that allow citizens to propose new laws. Activist Maxime Nicolle called it the "tax collector's referendum." In a video message, Nicolle said "we are going to get our bread back ... You're making money with our dough, and we're fed up."
While turnout at the protests has fallen from early weeks, they have been consistently marred by violence and transport has been disrupted. Macron's government has said it will crack down harder on unauthorized protests and get tougher on anyone who loots or vandalizes shops and monuments.
As local authorities prepare for more disruptive "yellow vest" protests, this weekend's French Ligue 1 game between Dijon and Montpellier has been put back by 24 hours. The move comes after second-placed Lille's trip to Caen in Normandy was brought forward from Saturday to Friday evening.
Christian Dior also decided to bring forward its men's fashion show in Paris to avoid violent "yellow vest" protesters. Dior, part of the LVMH luxury goods conglomerate, wrote to guests to reschedule a menswear catwalk show initially planned for Jan. 19, a Saturday, when protesters have tended to converge on Paris and other big cities across France. The show will instead be held on Friday, Jan. 18. Upmarket Dior and Chanel boutiques were among those vandalized by the protesters in early December.
Compiled from wires