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Protests in Paris: Macron, please listen

Riots usually occur when the public feels as though its grievances have not been addressed. When several people have the same concerns, and protests are ignored, riots become inevitable. Demonstrators usually try several methods to ensure that their voices are heard.

According to The Guardian, protesters in Paris recently started resorting to violence while dressed in yellow vests. Over 110 people were injured and 270 arrests were made, according to BBC News. The rioters set six buildings up into flames and disrupted traffic. As the beautiful city burned and chaos erupted, officers tackled the protesters with tear bombs and rioting gear.

Many citizens of Paris despise President Emmanuel Macron’s increasing tax rate because of how expensive it is to live in France. Despite the backlash, Macron has been committed to upholding these changes because of the 2015 Paris agreement, which states that countries must “undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.”

In effect, by increasing the tax rate on fuel, Macron states that he wants to decrease the use of fossil fuels. In addition, Macron stated that although increasing the tax rate may create unease among the general public, the bigger issue of climate change is far more important.

On the other hand, Macron has decided not to change his future policies, yet he is open to peaceful discussion with the yellow vest demonstrators from the Gilets jaunes movement.

Although some may deny it, climate change is real. What Macron is doing is far better than what other political officials have done when it comes to tackling fossil fuel production, despite the fact that the increased tax rate has made the general cost of living in France extremely expensive.

Even though the riot was uncalled for — especially its injuries and deaths — it should be apparent to Macron that the general public is appalled by his future plans. Although Macron has good intentions regarding the policies he has enacted, it has caused a fortune in repairs afflicted by the Gilets jaunes movement.

Ultimately, Macron should continue to tax fossil fuels, but he should do it with consent of the people first by opening up an avenue for peaceful discussion with the Gilets jaunes movement.

Both parties should also acknowledge that climate change is real and detrimental and agree on how and at what set rate fuel should be taxed. If not, Paris — and our planet — will continue
to burn.

-Alison Lui

Accounting ‘22

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