A few days ago the French government led by the likes of Emmanuel Macron decided to deploy armored trucks at ‘strategic locations’ carrying chemical weapons to be used against Frenchmen if the current situation worsens. The powder which is stored in those vehicles has the debilitating power of 200 tear gas grenades and will knock protesters out immediately (source).
Exposure to regular tear gas causes severe burning of the eyes, mouth, throat, and skin forcing subjects to uncontrollably cough, choke, and retch, with tears. Some people also experience temporary blindness after exposure. According to Business Insider tear gas can cause deaths, amputations and even miscarriages. The exact capabilities of the mentioned chemical weapon now in use by the French police and the effect of the delivery system on those are currently unclear, however the possibly increased dosage and the quick effect on humans will most likely prove to be even more lethal to humans than regular tear gas. The weapon “has the ability to spread across an area the size of six football pitches in ten seconds.”
Two weeks ago the government of France has marched approx. 80,000 policemen out to the streets of the country (that includes Paris and the rest of France) in order to quell riots and try to gain an upper hand.
The Yellow Vest protesters are – understandably so – discontent with the promises Macron made and are determined to change the political system of France. Macron promised very little to his people, a few breadcrumbs perhaps at best, maybe his ‘biggest’ promise was a 100 euros worth of tax deductions allegedly entering into force in May next year (that’s about 5 months from now) (source).
French people believe that their future and the future of France are unsecure, according to many, most young people are living from paycheck to paycheck barely surviving the last few days prior to getting their next paycheck, in many cases relying on their family asking them for a couple of euros in order to afford food.
The French police is also getting more and more discontent, they feel that they are putting their own well-being and health on the line for a cause they personally don’t support. Some media outlets even stated that a Blue Vest movement consisting of police officers might gain traction in the next couple of weeks. Macron and his cabinet want to prevent that though with any and all possible tools at their disposal. The government has promised a one-time 300 euro bonus to police officers, and according to some reports, some rouge government groups placed professional snipers on the rooftops of Paris in order to discourage the French police joining forces with Yellow Vest protesters.
There is also some footage which shows what seems to be high-caliber tracer fire.
During the week the French media was caught censoring anti-Macron signs carried by Yellow Vest protestors during an alleged live broadcast.
The situation is clearly not improving for the Yellow Vests. Earlier this month an elderly woman was shot by a police gas canister she was later declared dead in the hospital. French prosecutors denied that the death was the fault of the police, but the case is still being investigated. The 80-year old woman was standing on the 4th floor close to her window in Marseille as a gas canister ripped through the window hitting her in the face. She died during a life-saving surgery in the hospital, the doctors were unable to succeed in helping her due to the trauma had has suffered as a consequence. The fragments of the police gas canister were subsequently found in her apartment near the windows.
At the end of this year Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau are tied up in a close race to be the worst French president, and with it the worst Frenchman of the year. Macron still has a good two weeks to demonstrate that he was – at least in 2018 – worse than his Canadian counterpart, but Trudeau isn’t quite idle either he too has – unfortunately – much to prove in that regard.