France's Yellow Vests hit streets for 17th time, protest at Paris airport as numbers dwindle

French Yellow Vests protested across the country for the 17th straight weekend, briefly taking over a Paris airport as the movement sought to reignite fervor among France's working class.

Protesters are pressuring the government to reverse economic policies they see as favoring the rich. Some demonstrations have been marred by violence and vandalism.

The Yellow Vest movement has rocked France since November 2018, when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets demanding President Emmanuel Macron’s resignation.

Late last year, in an effort to quell protests, Macron called for three months of national debate over economic reforms.

He addressed the country in December, promising to speed up tax relief and urging companies to give bonuses to workers. Macron also reiterated his promise to raise the minimum wage and said the government would scrap a planned tax hike on pensioners.

Saturday's march in Paris began near the Arc de Triomphe and was to end at the Luxembourg Gardens near the Senate.

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Hundreds of other demonstrators have come up with other ways to get the government's attention, including organizing a so-called flash mob at the Charles de Gaulle airport to protest proposed privatization plans, France24 reported.

A three-day sit-in on the Champ de Mars, a park facing the Eiffel Tower, was planned, but police quickly ended it, according to reports.

The protests unfolded as the Yellow Vests prepared for next Saturday, which would mark the end of Macron’s “Great National Debate.”

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The movement has been gradually losing steam. Last week, only around 40,000 people protested across the whole of France, with about 4,000 in Paris, compared with hundreds of thousands last year.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.