It seems Paris isn't the only city in France that never sleeps. With the Gilets Jaunes protestors storming some of France's other major cities such as Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne, the country's typically festive holiday spirit has turned macabre.
Although thousands of protestors have taken to the streets throughout France, Paris has faced the brunt of violence. With 5,000 protestors taking to Parisian streets, some of whom haved damaged buildings and turned to violence, it's become clear even in the wake of a joyful World Cup win earlier this year that all is not well in France.
From women dressed as Marianne to setting cars on fire and scrawling graffiti on the Arc De Triomphe, the Paris protests have shown a clashing display of political ideals, a strive against rising living costs and a fight against surging taxes. Despite Macron suspending a hike in fuel taxes, the Gilets Jaunes appeared in full force, and last Saturday's protests even spread from the city's most iconic landmark, the Champs Elysees, to other areas around Paris such as Place de l'Opera. It seems the anti-government protestors won't rest until fuel taxes are further reduced, there is a reintroduction of the solidarity tax on wealth, the national minimum wage is raised and Emmanuel Macron resigns as President of France.
Social media influence
How did these thousands of people come together for one cause? It seems social media has been a major catalyst for the movement, with multiple Facebook groups encouraging the movement. Three major groups are influencing the movement: the 'Compteur Officiel de Gilets Jaunes' (The Official Yellow Jacket Account) boasts 1.7 million followers, 'Carte des Rassemblements' (Demonstration Map) has amassed 300,000 members, and a more sinister group known as the 'Patriotes en Colére' (Angry Patriots) claims 53,000 members.
For cause or for glutton?
Although the majority of those protesting over the past five weeks have made their case and their desire for a peaceful solution plain, some of the protestors took full advantage of the lack of security in Paris' luxury boutiques. Both Chanel and Rolex faced vandalism with some individuals taking advantage of 'free' items.
Consequences for Retailers
With anti-government protestors fighting against the inequality between Paris' elitism and the French working class, Paris' luxury and most wealthy areas have seen the largest brunt of violence. Paris' haute couture stores typically experience a boom during the holiday shopping period, however this year, luxury boutiques have hit extreme turbulence, with retailers across all sectors losing approximately 1 billion euros.