Violence in Paris as police clash with protesters
Fighting erupted in central Paris today as thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets of France for the fifth Saturday in a row.
Tear gas and baton charges were used by riot police around the capital’s famous Opera district on a so-called ‘Act V’ Day of Rage, and by midday more than 60 protesters were in custody.
Most were so-called Yellow Vest fuel price demonstrators, who are named after the high visibility jackets they wear.
They have been protesting since November 17 and, despite a range of concessions by President Emmanuel Macron including scrapping green taxes of diesel and petrol, continue to call for him to step down.
‘Macron Resign’, a crowd of around 1,500 chanted today in the streets around the 19th Century Opera Garnier, which is normally a huge draw for tourists.
Around 8,000 police officers have been deployed ahead of a fifth consecutive week of demonstrations.
High-end shops including luxury fashion boutiques were all boarded up around the Opera, along with banks and post offices.
Mounted police, water cannons, and 14 armoured vehicles capable of spreading high-intensity gas meanwhile stood waiting for further trouble.