Posted by News Express | 1 December 2018 | 574 times
French riot police used teargas and stun grenades and water cannon on Saturday against protesters clad in fluorescent yellow trying to break through security cordons at the Champs Elysees in Paris.
A Paris police spokeswoman said 60 people had already been arrested.
Officials fear far-right and far-left groups plan to infiltrate the yellow vests movement, a popular rebellion against diesel tax hikes and the high cost of living.
Today’s protest was the third rally against high living costs.
For more than two weeks, the “gilets jaunes” (yellow vests) have blocked roads in protests across France, posing one of the largest and most sustained challenges Emmanuel Macron has faced in his 18-month-old presidency.
In Paris, masked and hooded protesters picked up and hurled crowd barriers and other projectiles in running battles with police on and around the world famous Champs Elysees boulevard.
Others erected their own barricades and set them alight in some of the streets adjacent to the Champs Elysees.
Three policemen and seven protesters had been injured, spokeswoman Johanna Primevert said.
“The thugs are a minority and have no place in these demonstrations,” government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told LCI television.
Several hundred yellow vests sat down under the Arc de Triomphe at the top of the Elysees, singing La Marseillaise, France’s national anthem, and chanting, “Macron Resign!”
On the facade of the towering 19th-century arch, protesters scrawled in big black letters: “The yellow vests will triumph.”
By mid-morning, police estimated some 2,000 protesters were in the roads around the Champs with rioters and peaceful protesters mixed together. Police unions said across France there were some 31,000 protesters and 582 blockages. (NAN)
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