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French Police Labor Union Goes on Strike Ahead of Saturday Yellow Vests Protests

© REUTERS / Benoit TessierFrench riot police apprehend a protester wearing a yellow vest, a symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher fuel prices, during clashes on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, November 24, 2018. Picture taken November 24, 2018
French riot police apprehend a protester wearing a yellow vest, a symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher fuel prices, during clashes on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, November 24, 2018. Picture taken November 24, 2018 - Sputnik International
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PARIS (Sputnik) - The French police labor union Vigi has declared an indefinite strike starting from December 8, the day when new protests of the so-called yellow vest movement against an increase in fuel taxes are expected to take place, Alexandre Langlois, the secretary general of the police union, has told Sputnik.

Langlois noted that the police were not going to join "yellow vest" protesters, however, intended to support them.

"We will go to the rally with our banners to show that we support the demand to increase the purchasing power. Any police officer not on duty has the right to join them during the demonstration," Langlois said.

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According to Langlois, French police officers are often mistreated, and they have to work "without rest." Therefore, he urged the law enforcement not to make "fatal mistake" and refrain from participating in rallies if they feel emotionally exhausted.

Langlois also added that the French security services were powerless in confronting "yellow vest" protesters, as former French President Nicolas Sarkozy had significantly undermined their capabilities by focusing on counterterrorism activities. According to the secretary general, the French authorities should meet some of the demands of "yellow vest" protesters in order to stabilize the situation.

READ MORE: Gilets Jaunes Infiltrer: Undercover French Police Wear Yellow Vests Too

The so-called "yellow vest" protests, named after the reflective vests all French drivers are required to keep in their cars, have been ongoing in France since November 17. Diesel prices in France have risen by around 23 percent since the beginning of the year, while the gasoline prices have gone up by 15 percent. On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that he was abandoning a proposed fuel tax hike following violent protests.

READ MORE: Paris Landmarks Will Be Closed Saturday Amid Fears of Violent Yellow Vests Rally

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