HERE WE GO AGAIN...
|Workers' Day parade in Paris|
|Boarded-up restaurant La Rotonde|
We can only hope that this unholy alliance with the Black Bloc will spell the beginning of the end of the newly radicalized Gilets Jaunes movement that has lost its way.
|Macron press conference at Elysée Palace|
A spokesman for the police union saw this decision as a validation for the hooligans and an endangerment of the riot police. The sharp increase in suicides among law enforcement officers -26 police and two gendarmes since January of this year - testifies to the extreme stress they are under and their frustration at the lack of means to respond effectively. With police at the breaking point after five months of weekend riot duty, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner could do no better than promise more suicide-prevention programs and long-term psychological support for stressed officers, and ask for greater vigilance on the part of their superiors.
While the latest polls raised Macron's approval rating by five points (back to 32%, where it was before the December riots), his disappointing speech and press conference may well be reflected in the upcoming elections for the European Parliament where his worst enemy, the eurosceptic Marine Le Pen and her extreme-right party are expected to make big gains to the detriment of Macron's LREM party.
In the meantime, French riot police grit their teeth, the government tries desperately to keep the lid on while zigzagging on the narrow path between democracy and suppression, and we all keep our fingers crossed every Saturday.
ERRATUM: An error has crept into this blog. The number of police suicides for 2019 is 28, not 38 as previously reported.