18th Yellow Vest protests turn violent in Paris
Yellow Vest rallies entered their 18th consecutive week with severe clashes between French police and protesters.
Paris municipality mobilized more police than previous weeks in an attempt to stave off unrest while “great debate” of French President Emmanuel Macron for pacifying the protests ended on Friday, AP reported.
In a message posted online ahead of Saturday’s protests, organizers said they wanted the day to serve as an “ultimatum” to “the government and the powerful.”
The latest round of ‘Yellow Vest’ protests coincides with the end of President Emmanuel Macron’s “grand national debate”. The first round of the debates, meant to reconcile with the grassroots protest movement, kicked off in the northern town of Grand Bourgtheroulde, with Macron and hundreds of local officials attending.
Saturday’s rally saw hundreds of people flooding the streets of downtown Paris and riot police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd, some of whom were carrying firecrackers.
The area around the iconic landmark was quickly enveloped in smoke. Some protesters tried to erect barricades to block streets around the Place Charles de Gaulle, prompting police to respond with crowd control measures.
At least one car was set ablaze by demonstrators in the early hour of the rally. The demonstration broke out into a riot, with some protesters looting stores on Champs-Elysees, according to reports.
Also, at least 30 people were detained on Friday.
Three-quarters of the French are dissatisfied with Emmanuel Macron’s policies and have appallingly little trust in his ministers, a new opinion poll by Odexa has revealed.
A majority of French people think Emmanuel Macron hasn't significantly adapted his approach to the concerns of the Yellow Jacket protests, with a large number calling for him to change his tack on social and economic policies.