Violent Scenes In Paris As Yellow Vest Protest Numbers Soar Again

Riot police fired tear gas at demonstrators when they attempted to leave their pre-approved route.

Yellow vest protests continued in France on Saturday for an eighth successive weekend seeing demonstrations across the country.

In Paris, there were violent clashes between police and protesters attempting to reach the Assemblée Nationale, the lower house of parliament.

Riot police forced demonstrators back using teargas and clubs after coming under a hail of projectiles.

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said those still protesting “want insurrection”.

He called on the French to express their views during a “national debate” organised in the coming weeks in all regions, rather than by taking to the streets.

No official figures have been issued for the number of protesters who turned out around France or in Paris, though one police estimate put the marchers in the capital at 3,500.

Police boats patrolled the river while beyond the Seine, motorcycles and a car were set on fire on the Boulevard Saint Germain, a main Left Bank thoroughfare.

Riot police and firefighters moved in, and barricades mounted in the middle of the wide street also glowed in flames.

Further confrontations between law enforcement and demonstrators took place in other cities around France, with tear gas fired in Bordeaux and in Rouen, Normandy.

The march had been declared in advance and approved, in contrast to some illegal December demonstrations that degenerated into vandalism, looting and chaos.

Protesters were looking to breathe new life into the yellow vest movement as numbers of participants has fallen since the first Saturday protest in mid-November.

They reiterated their call for Mr Macron, denounced as the president of the rich, to resign.

The yellow vest movement was launched to express anger over fuel tax hikes affecting working people who commute by car, but grew to encompass broader anger over Mr Macron’s economic policies, deemed to favour the rich.


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