Yellow vest violence returns to Paris

PDemonstrators have smashed and looted shops in Paris in a resurgence of the gilets jaunes (“yellow vest”) protests that started four months ago in France.

Rioters torched a luxury handbag store and vandalised an upscale restaurant on the famed Champs-Élysées avenue.

Police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse the protesters. More than 120 people were arrested.

The protests began over fuel tax rises but have since developed into a broader revolt against perceived elitism.

Police say about 10,000 people took part in Saturday’s protest in the French capital, a marked increase compared with similar demonstrations in recent weeks.

Some 32,300 in total took to the streets throughout France, according to the Interior Ministry.

However, police said 36,000 people took part peacefully in a separate march against climate change in another part of Paris.

Protesters threw cobblestones at police at the Arc de Triomphe war memorial.

As well as a surge in numbers on Saturday, there was a return to the levels of violence that characterised the early protests.

Fouquet’s – an upscale restaurant popular with politicians and celebrities – was vandalised, as was a Boss menswear store.

Rioters also set fire to the luxury Long champ handbag store.

Fires were lit in the streets, with at least one car set ablaze, and a bank branch was set alight.

The bank was located on the ground floor of an apartment building, which was engulfed by flames.

The fire service evacuated the residents and extinguished the blaze. Eleven people, including two fire fighters, suffered minor injuries, a spokesman told the AFP news agency.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said that more than 1,400 police officers had been mobilised.

Mr Castaner said he had given police an order to respond to the “unacceptable attacks with the greatest firmness”.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “Let there be no doubt: they are looking for violence and are there to sow chaos in Paris.”

By mid-afternoon, 129 people were arrested, AFP reports. –BBC

Show More
Back to top button