Tear gas & mass arrests, as yellow vest protests hit Paris
Armoured vehicles rolled through central Paris on Saturday as riot police clashed with “yellow vest” demonstrators, who set fire to barricades and hurled rocks in the latest demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron. Shouts of “Macron, resign” mingled with tear gas on the Champs-Elysees avenue, which was the scene of the worst rioting in Paris in decades last week.
Thick plumes of black smoke from fires could be seen rising high into the sky over the city. Government calls for protesters to stay away from “Act IV” of a battle that began over fuel prices but ballooned into an anti-Macron revolt fell on deaf ears, with protesters making their way to Paris from across the country.
In the Grands Boulevards shopping district, masked protesters threw rocks at riot police and set fire to a barricade hastily assembled from stolen dustbins and Christmas trees.
Denis, a 30-year-old forklift driver from the Normandy port of Caen, travelled to Paris for the first time Saturday to make his voice heard after three weeks at the barricades in the provinces. “I’m here for my 15-monthold son. I can’t let him live in a country where the poor are exploited,” he said.
Meanwhile, US President Trump again railed against the Paris climate deal, claiming the ongoing riots in Paris were taking place as the citizens there didn’t want to pay “large sums of money, much to third world countries”.
A Gendarmerie armoured vehicles (VBRG) drives past fire near the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris on Saturday.