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Anti-carbon-tax yellow vest protestors disrupt climate change march

ECONOMYNEXT – Anti-carbon tax ‘yellow vest’ protestors in France incensed over plans by interventionists to hit motorist who are already paying up to 60 percnet of retail fuel prices in tax with more taxes clashed with police in Paris in a bid to disrupt a climate march.

Extreme “black bloc” protesters joined a climate march and provoked clashes with police, prompting the rally’s organisers to call for demonstrators to leave the event, AFP, a news agency said.

After first marching with a separate yellow vest protest, around 1,000 of the hardcore radical demonstrators infiltrated the march against climate change where more than 150 were arrested.

Two bank buildings were damaged in the clashes, along with motor scooters, windows and other property. Some activists built makeshift roadblocks which they then torched.

Some 7,500 police were deployed for the two protests, and they moved in quickly to target the hard line elements and dismantle the barricades, made from burning bins and construction materials. By 6:00 pm (1600 GMT) Saturday, police said they had arrested 163 people.

The climate march organisers urged protesters to go home to avoid the clashes, which involved teargas and baton charges.

Around 15,200 took part in the climate march, according to the independent Occurence consultancy, while organisers claimed 50,000 and the police put the number at 16,000.

Yellow vest protests erupted after interventionists in France, urged by climate activists proposed taxes to punish motorists who were already paying up to 60 percent in taxes on their fuel.

According to Britain’s Guardian newspaper French motorists were paying up to 64 percent of retail prices as taxes in Petrol and 59 percent in diesel. People in other European countries were paying around the same levels.

France has a tradition of tax protests where citizens rose up against tax privileges of the aristocracy.

The climate taxes, which came amidst economic troubles faced by the people has turned into a general protest against the state and President Emmanuel Macron. The illiberal taxes on top of existing taxes, however were devised by interventionists in a previous administration.

“We are assembling just to say that we can’t make ends meet. (The protest) is not only against the president, it’s against the system,” a female protester who did not give her name was quoted as saying.

Crusading climate activist believe that fuel users have to pay even higher taxes to ‘atone’ for their sins, critics say. However using taxes as tools of punishment and not revenue raising goes against centuries of established practice.

The illiberal punitive taxes designed to harm, have also spread to South Asia where there was a liberal tradition running into millennia that taxes should not harm the payer and should be taken in small amounts like a bee takes honey from a flower.

Some yellow vest protestors however had turned violent, ransacking private property. (Colombo/Sept21/2019)