March 16, 2019– Mary Greeley News – French police fired tear gas and arrested dozens on Saturday in clashes with protesters as the Yellow Vest movement sought to inject new impetus into its four-month-old revolt against President Emmanuel Macron and his pro-business reforms.
Protesters threw cobblestones at riot police through clouds of tear gas in front of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe monument, which was ransacked at the peak of the protests in December. Bonfires were started in nearby streets, with at least one car in flames.
Police also used water cannons and had arrested more than 30 protesters by late morning as tensions flared at the top of Paris’ upmarket Champs-Elysees avenue, where the windows of a high-end restaurant were smashed.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said thugs looking for trouble had infiltrated the demonstrations and gave the order to respond to “unacceptable attacks with the greatest firmness.”
“Let there be no doubt: they are looking for violence and are there to sow chaos in Paris,” Castaner said in a Tweet.
Aucun doute permis : ils appellent à la violence et sont là pour semer le chaos à Paris.
Des professionnels de la casse et du désordre équipés et masqués ont infiltré les cortèges.
Ma consigne au @prefpolice : répondre avec la plus grande fermeté à ces attaques inadmissibles. pic.twitter.com/ihOzZRittU
— Christophe Castaner (@CCastaner) March 16, 2019
Protesters have promised to draw bigger numbers to mark the fourth month since the movement erupted in mid-November over since-scrapped fuel tax hikes and the high cost of living.
credit: in part with https://globalnews.ca/news/5063419/yellow-vest-protests-police/