84,000 ‘Yellow Vest’ protesters take to streets of France calling for Macron resignation
Calling for President Emmanuel Macron’s resignation, tens of thousands of ‘Yellow Vests’ thronged the streets of Paris as well as other French cities.
Iran Press/ Europe: Tens of thousands of demonstrators turned out across France for new protests against President Emmanuel Macron, amid a marked decline in violence despite dozens of arrests and clashes with police in Paris and other cities.
The ninth round of 'yellow vest' rallies since November began calmly amid a heavy police deployment of some 80,000 officers nationwide, including 5,000 in the capital, reported AFP.
It’s reported that 84,000 protesters turned out for round nine up from 50,000 the previous week.
The turn out is still far below the nearly 300,000 when the 'Yellow Vest' protests began two months ago.
Many sang the 'Marseillaise' national anthem, while others shouted 'Macron resign!' or 'Free Christophe,' a reference to the ex-boxer filmed viciously beating two officers during last week’s protest.
For the first time organisers of the Paris march deployed teams wearing white arm bands to corral the march that began near the Place de la Bastille.
“We’re guiding the march to make sure they keep to the route and avoid confrontations, so they don’t respond to police provocations,” one of the 'white bands,' who gave his name as Anthony, told AFP.
But scores of protesters later clashed with riot police at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, prompting volleys of tear gas and water cannon as security forces prevented them from reaching the heavily fortified Champs-Elysees.
The protesters began to disperse as night fell, however, and police began removing armoured vehicles and trucks in an atmosphere of relative calm — TV images later showed a guitarist crooning not far from the police lines.
In Paris the prosecutor’s office said 74 people had been detained for questioning by the afternoon, well above the 35 detained last Saturday, as participation rose to some 8,000 protesters from 3,500 last week.
“We’ve come to Paris to make ourselves heard, and we wanted to see for ourselves at least once what’s going on here,” said Patrick, 37, who told AFP he had travelled from the Savoie region of western France.
In the well-heeled race horsing town of Chantilly just north of Paris, 1000 or so protesters marched through the centre before descending on the hippodrome where they delayed the start of a race, local media said.
Dozens were also arrested elsewhere including the central city of Bourges, the site of another major rally aimed at drawing people farther from the capital. 203/103
Video taken from AFP