|Fouquet's vandalized and set on fire|
|Shops vandalized and looted|
|Alain Finkielkraut attacked by Gilets Jaunes|
President Macron paid a visit to the desecrated cemetery and forcefully condemned this religious violence which has no place in a lay country such as France, but no government has been able to effectively eradicate the ever-simmering antisemitic sentiment in this country.
March 15 was the closing date for President Macron's 2-month-long Grand Débât, but it also was the beginning of a new weekly protest when thousands of French high school students skipped class that Friday afternoon to take to the streets to demand government action on climate change. Following the example of 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who gained worldwide attention by speaking out at the Davos Economic Forum where she accused irresponsible adults (including her audience of captains of industry) of ignoring global warming for too long and called on youth to take over. She had been demonstrating every Friday afternoon since last August with a sit-down strike in front of her school or the Swedish Parliament where her quiet determination soon inspired teenagers all over the world to do the same on Friday afternoons. In the first such protest tens of thousands of French students skipped classes on March 15 to demonstrate, followed the next day by some 45,000 people of all ages who marched peacefully in Paris for climate change action, while the Gilets Jaunes held their noisy and destructive protest in another part of town. The contrast between the quiet climate change march and the slash-and-burn Gilets Jaunes march could not have been greater.
It is to be hoped that this will allow the government to take back control. Macron needs to win this one to regain the popularity he lost over claims of "arrogance" and being "the president of the rich" while overtaxing the poor, which was the spark that set off these Gilet Jaunes protests to begin with. Will it be enough to turn voters around? That may depend on his April response to the problems raised in the Debates and the Books of Grievances. In the meantime, he will be watched closely for his dealings with the Yellow Vest crisis and the missteps in his own government.