Embarrassment! Champs-Élysées Nearly Empty on WWII Victory Day as Anti-Macron Protests Banned

In the latest embarrassment for Emmanuel Macron, the French President drove down a nearly empty Champs-Elysées on Monday morning as he travelled to the Arc de Triomphe on Victory Day as the public was largely barred from the event over fears that protests against his embattled government would mar the proceedings.

Every year on May 8th, Victory in Europe Day ceremonies are held across the continent to celebrate the official surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, marking the official end of World War II in Europe.

As opposed to years gone past, the event in Paris on Monday was notably quiet, with a large security perimeter being established around the Champs-Elysées in order to prevent the citizens of France from protesting against President Macron, who enraged the public two months ago when his government controversially passed through a raise to the pension age in the National Assembly without a vote.

Since then, millions of people have protested, and rioted throughout the country. While the beleaguered president — just one year into his second and final term in office — begged the public last month to give him 100 days to prove the worth of his government and to appease the anger, unions and protest groups have vowed to give him “100 days of anger” in return.

Thus, on Monday, Mr Macron travelled down the famed avenue on his way to the Arc de Triomphe in his car, with the windows closed, surrounded by an escort of the Republican Guard, with almost no members of the public lining the streets, Le Figaro reported.

FRANCE – MAY 08: For The Last Time, French President Jacques Chirac Attends Ceremonies Marking The 62Nd Anniversary Of The End Of World War Two At The Arc De Triomphe In Paris, France On May 08, 2007 – (Photo by Gilles BASSIGNAC/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

It was a stark contrast to previous years, when multiple presidents, including Macron himself, were apt to greet members of the public and wave to the crowds aligning the Champs-Elysées, no such interactions from the president were seen on Monday.

Reaching the iconic archway — originally commissioned in 1806 following Napoleon Bonaparte’s victory at Austerlitz — Macron performed the traditional laying of the wreath and revival of the eternal flame at the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier. A moment of silence was then held to honour those who lost their lives during the war.

FRANCE – AUGUST 25: President Charles de Gaulle parades down the streets of Paris at the commemoration of the victory in Paris, France on August 25, 1964 – (Photo by REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Following the ceremony in Paris, the President travelled to Lyon to visit the Montluc Prison Memorial, where French resistance figures in World War II, such as Jean Moulin, were imprisoned. The Élysée Palace said the event was meant to honour the “French Resistance and the victims of Nazi barbarism.”

Picture dated of May 8, 1945 showing people gathering at the Champs Elysees Avenue, in front of the Triumphal Arch (Arc de Triomphe) as Parisians celebrate the unconditional German capitulation in the streets of Paris, at the end of the Second World War. AFP PHOTO (Photo by PIGISTE / AFP) (Photo by PIGISTE/AFP via Getty Images)

As was the case in the French capital, police restrictions were also put in place in Lyon to prevent the return of the so-called ‘casserolades’ (pots and pans protest) which have followed Mr Macron at nearly every public appearance since the pension reforms were pushed through the National Assembly.

The local branch of the CGT trade union confederation, which has been organising the national strikes, appealed against the ban on protests, however, the appeal was shut down by the French courts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Bashes Joe Biden’s Open Borders Policy

Biden on Texas Shooting: ‘Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough’