Violence erupted in Paris last night as the Yellow Vest protesters piled more misery for French President Macron.
Clashes broke out between dozens of demonstrators and police in Paris on the 23rd Saturday of yellow-vest protests after authorities warned that rioters could return to the French capital to spark a new wave of violence.
Dozens of black-hooded demonstrators threw rocks at police and some set fire to scooters and trash cans in the centre of the French capital, according to Reuters TV footage.
Police responded by firing tear gas and stun grenades. Some officers also marched toward demonstrators to control the crowd and funnel it to Paris’ Place de la Republique, where most of the demonstrators were contained in the late afternoon.
French yellow vest protesters set fires along a march route through Paris on Saturday to drive home their message to a government they see as out of touch with the problems of the poor: that rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral isn’t the only problem France needs to solve.
Police fired water cannon and sprayed tear gas to try to control radical elements on the margins of the largely peaceful march, one of several actions around Paris and other French cities.
This was one of the most violent clashes between the police and Yellow Vest protestors A car, motorbikes and barricades set ablaze around the Place de la Republique plaza in eastern Paris.
Residents described how the smell of tear gas fired by police mixed with the smoke, choking the air.
Paris firefighters who struggled earlier this week to prevent the blaze that engulfed the historic Notre Dame from collapsing quickly responded to extinguish the flames at Saturday’s protest.
Another witness described how’ one masked protester dressed in black jumped on a Mercedes parked along the march route, smashing it’s front and back windshields.’
The Yellow Vets protestors are furious that President Macron has prioritised the rebuilding os Notre Dame before the much needed social reforms.