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French yellow vest figure on trial, new protests planned

Eric Drouet, a prominent and divisive figure of the yellow vest movement, walks out of the Court after his trial for organizing an unauthorized demonstration, in Paris, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. Drouet, who has organized several yellow vest events in Paris via Facebook, was detained on Jan. 2 near the Place de la Concorde in central Paris, prompting outcry from supporters who said he was being unfairly targeted for his outspoken criticism of the government. If convicted the charge carries a risk of up to six months in prison, but the prosecutor is only seeking a one-month suspended sentence. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

PARIS (AP) — A prominent figure of the French yellow vests has gone on trial in Paris for allegedly organizing illegal demonstrations, as the movement prepares for a 14th consecutive weekend of protests.

Eric Drouet was arrested for organizing demonstrations on Dec. 22 and Jan. 2 in Paris without declaring them to authorities.

He acknowledged he didn’t follow the rule, saying Friday he doesn’t consider himself a protest organizer.

The Paris prosecutor requested a 500-euro ($563) fine and a one-month suspended prison sentence. The court’s decision will be announced on March 29.

Drouet is a known figure of the movement, repeatedly calling for demonstrations on social media.

Yellow vest protesters are planning new protests on Saturday and Sunday in Paris and other cities to denounce French President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies.

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