Paris is burning as French say, "Macron, listen to us!"

The basic issue is a combination of rising fuel prices and new, rising taxes on top of those, which are designed to help France make some of the reductions of greenhouse gases that the Paris Climate Accord calls for (and which Trump rejected). Most of the French are in complete agreement with the objective; they just don’t want to pay for it. And the rising costs put a huge burden on people who cannot afford to live in Paris or the many other beautiful old cities of France. Many of them must drive long distances before they even reach the commuter train networks.

Much like the main streets of American small towns, the quaint villages in this country have been dying as shopping centers and “hypermarkets” pull commerce away from them. Public services are being stripped away as well, with longer and longer drives to hospitals a particular problem. So the impression given by the government in the French capital is that it’s demanding these people pay more for clean air … in the French capital.

It was no accident that much of the vandalism was pointed at symbols of Parisian affluence and power. Graffiti was sprayed on the Arc de Triomphe (one example: “Gilets jaune = Antifa”), at least one bank office was burned, a mansion full of lawyers’ offices looking out on the Arc was set ablaze, and cars in the heart of Paris were ignited with the same reckless abandon seen in the outer suburbs in 2005.