Woman killed, 47 injured during fuel tax protest, French officials say


According to the French Ministry of Internal Affairs, about 1,000 protests are now underway, in which 50,000 people are taking part across the country.

At Pont-de-Beauvoisin, in southeast France, a woman trying to get her daughter to the doctor panicked when protesters surrounded her vehicle and started banging on the roof.

The BBC reports that the woman was desperate to get her daughter to the hospital and was sent into a panic as protesters surrounded her auto and began hitting her roof. An investigation was opened.

Police said three of the 47 injured in separate incidents are in a serious condition.

Officials say 24 people have been arrested and 17 held for questioning.

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Protesters, wearing high-visibility vests and dubbing themselves the "yellow jackets", had pledged to target tollbooths, roundabouts and the bypass that rings Paris.

The protesters have dubbed themselves the "yellow jackets" because they wear fluorescent vests that all French drivers must keep in their vehicles in case of auto troubles.

The amateur nature of the protests, often spontaneous and therefore illegal, made it tricky for police, who had orders to use dialogue over force but to stop protesters from completely blocking major routes or endangering lives or property. Hundreds of protesters took over the Place de la Concorde at the bottom of the avenue, shouting "Macron resign" as police looked on.

Starting from the early hours of Saturday, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of French cities to express their discontent with the policies of President Emmanuel Macron and the French government's recent decision to raise fuel prices through additional taxes. Many drivers see them as emblematic of a presidency that is disconnected from day-to-day economic difficulties. However, protesters and their supporters have voiced anger about other issues, too, including diminishing buying power.

"We've had enough of it". French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne said the tax on diesel will increase by 6.5 cents per liter in January 2019, while the tax on gasoline is set to increase by 2.9 cents.