Paris police fired water cannons and tear gas to repel “gilets jaunes” or “yellow vests” protestors around the Arc de Triomphe as scuffles broke out between police and protesters.
Police placed a car ban on the nearby Champs-Élysées avenue to avoid further escalation of violence.
Saturday marked “Act 9” or the ninth day of national action for the “gilets jaunes”. The citizen movement was first created as a protest against a planned fuel tax rise but mutated into a crisis about inequality and spending power.
Tighter security following the explosion in Paris and a more aggressive approach by the police did not deter the thousands who turned up in their droves to protest against the French administration and specifically, President Macron. They see him as the person driving the reforms to appease the rich in the country.
Demonstrators nationwide on Saturday increased dramatically almost more than double the 50,000 counted last week, but well below the record 282,000 estimated on 17 November when the protests began.
The ministry said more than 185 people have been arrested today, with over 100 arrested in Paris alone. So far over 5000 people have been arrested since the protests began.
French authorities deployed 80,000 security forces nationwide in preparation for a ninth straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations. 5,000 security forces were deployed in Paris alone.