Scuffles break out as 'Yellow Vests' march on National Assembly in Paris
Thousands of French gilets jaunes (Yellow Vests) demonstrators marched on Saturday in their 13th weekend of action.
There was also an overnight arson attack on the Brittany residence of the National Assembly head, Richard Ferrand, though no immediate link was made to the actions against President Emmanuel Macron, according to a report by The Guardian.
The demonstrations, named for high-visibility jackets worn by the protesters, began in mid-November over fuel taxes. They have since broadened into a more general revolt against a political class they view as out of touch with common people.
In Paris, several thousand people marched on Saturday beside symbols of power such as the National Assembly and Senate.
The demonstrations were mainly peaceful, but some protesters threw objects at security forces, a scooter and a police van were set on fire and some shop windows were smashed.
One participant’s hand was severely injured when he tried to pick up a so-called 'sting-ball grenade' used by police to disperse crowds with teargas.
The interior ministry put the total number of protesters around France at 12,000, including 4,000 in Paris. A police source, however, said numbers were higher, with 21,000 demonstrators taking part in rallies outside Paris.
Politicians from across the spectrum condemned the arson attack on the home of Ferrand, a close ally of Macron and president of parliament’s lower house. 211/103