Tear gas & mass ar­rests, as yel­low vest protests hit Paris

The Free Press Journal - - WORLD - AGEN­CIES /

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”.

—AFP

A Gen­darmerie ar­moured ve­hi­cles (VBRG) drives past fire near the Champs El­y­sees av­enue in Paris on Satur­day.

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