Nearly 50,000 people demonstrated Saturday across France for “Act VIII” of the mobilization of “yellow vests” which has sometimes turned into a clash with the police, causing indignation of the head of the ‘State.
“Once again, extreme violence has come to attack the Republic – its guardians, its representatives, its symbols (…) Everyone must pull themselves together to bring about the debate and dialogue,” responded Emmanuel Macron on Twitter.
In terms of accounting, the “yellow vests” have succeeded in mobilizing much more than the 32,000 demonstrators of December 29, even if the Minister of the Interior assured that this movement was “not representative of France”.
Christophe Castaner also insisted on the “determination” of the government in the face of this dispute that has been shaking the executive for a month and a half.
Among the incidents enamelled the day, the spokesman of the government, Benjamin Griveaux, had to be evacuated from his office rue de Grenelle after an intrusion of “yellow vests” who broke the door of the ministry with a construction machine. An investigation is opened, according to the parquet of Paris.
Party of the Champs-Elysees, Paris parade had proceeded smoothly in the morning, but the situation has gradually tended in the capital where the police headquarters has identified 3,500 protesters. According to the prefecture, 24 people were arrested.
First projectiles were launched around 14:00 on the police who responded with tear gas on the banks of the Seine near the City Hall, then incidents broke out on a bridge connecting the two banks of the Seine at the Jardin des Tuileries.
Several scooters and a car were burned on Boulevard Saint-Germain where makeshift barricades were erected, according to AFP journalists. “To set fire like that is not possible, it is the Apocalypse, and the image of France in the world,” said one passer-by.
In the early evening, protesters returned to the Champs-Elysees, the nerve center of the mobilization, before being chased by the CRS.
“We had to attend a peaceful demonstration in Paris today, and the most radical are working, once again, to harm this legitimate mobilization,” regretted Jacline Mouraud, one of the figures of this protean movement that has targeted rising fuel prices before making broader claims
Scuffles also broke out between law enforcement and “yellow vests” Saturday in several cities in the West including Caen, Nantes and Bordeaux, while in Rennes, a group of demonstrators broke a gateway to the town hall.
“To make things progress”
In Rouen, where 2,000 people marched, a protester was hit in the head by shots of launchers of defense bullets, according to an AFP correspondent. Just like they blocked borders during Christmas.
“I do not encourage violence but unfortunately we see that it is necessary to get things done,” said AFP Sebastien, a 42-year-old auto entrepreneur in Rennes.
In Montpellier, four CRS and three “yellow vests” were slightly injured as a result of throwing stones and bottles in the area of the station Saint-Roch, and five people arrested, according to the authorities.
Six arrests were held in Saint-Etienne for throwing projectiles on the police, outrage and violence against persons in charge of public authority.
Throughout France, the processions of “yellow vests”, insensitive to the concessions of the executive and the future great national debate, had also begun in a relative calm for this first mobilization of the year 2019 which was a test .
In Toulouse, the mobilization was up compared to December 29, with at least 2,000 “yellow vests” against 1,350 last Saturday. But at the end of the day, throwing projectiles, fires and various degradations resulted in 22 arrests.
In Bordeaux, they were about 4,600 to demonstrate, returning to their level of mobilization before the end of the year celebrations and consecrating the capital of New Aquitaine as one of the strongholds of the movement.
In Lyon, thousands of people marched in the street in an erratic way, briefly investing part of the A7 that passes in the city.
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