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Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: First Place (Daniel Anthony, Opinion Category); Fifth Place (Brendan Jubulis, Sports)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)
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Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)

French police close to to joining Yellow Vest Protest


Yes, you read this headline correctly. The French police have threatened to join in on the countrywide protest that has afflicted the country for over a month. The reasoning for this mutiny, stated by the “Alliance” police union, was to address the lack of compensation and proper working conditions for law officials.

So what exactly is going on in France? Why are different groups continuing to uprise and violently riot against the government? Well, there are a variety of sub reasons as to why this is occurring. But these sub reasons can all be traced back to one primary issue for these protesters; and his name is Emmanuel Macron.

Ever since the transition of presidential leadership in France, there has been outcry from the middle and working class of the European nation, (hence why this protest movement is referred to commonly as the “Yellow Vest” protest). Under Macron’s rule, a variety of policies have been introduced that, in the Yellow Vest’s opinion, severely burden them.

In response to some of these burdens, protesters have come up with several demands to end their rioting. Lowering fuel taxes, bringing back the solidarity tax on wealth, improved living conditions, an increase in minimum wage, and lastly, but what seems to be most heavily focused on, is the resignation of Macron. As of now, however, these demands have yet to be met.

The French President is obviously quite under pressure, and could arguably be considered slightly desperate for help. In this potential desperation, Macron has recently reached out to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy, a law-and-order conservative, led the nation for five years. Recognizing this resume, Macron had lunch with him and looked for advice on how to handle the current situation he is in with the Yellow Vests.

“Emmanuel Macron has understood the personal and political benefit he could draw from [Sarkozy],” a close source told Voice of America News, “In a time of crisis, it’s important to keep up relations with those you have points in common with.”

So now that we have established what exactly is going on in France, it is now feasible to evaluate the reasoning of French police joining the movement. The primary reason for the French police force to be in a state of dissent is that they are severely overworked. Across the entire nation, the police force in France have accumulated a total of over 23 million hours of uncompensated overtime work.

“Faced with this irresponsibility [of the government], we are forced to be irresponsible in our actions,” police union leader Frédéric Lagache told The Local France. 

To conclude, it is almost clear that severe changes will have to occur in France to cease this political chaos. It is one thing to have such a large chunk of society vouching for the resignation of a leader, but when entire police forces are tempted to almost completely abandon their duties, you’ve got a real problem on your hands.

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