Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 5-Paris police use tear gas, water cannon on 'yellow vest' protests anniversary

Reuters | Updated: 17-11-2019 03:33 IST | Created: 17-11-2019 02:50 IST
UPDATE 5-Paris police use tear gas, water cannon on 'yellow vest' protests anniversary
A total of 28,000 people demonstrated across France on Saturday including 4,700 in Paris, the interior ministry said. Image Credit: ANI

Demonstrators torched cars and pelted police with stones and bottles and police fired tear gas and water cannon in Paris on Saturday as rallies to mark the first anniversary of the anti-government "yellow vest" demonstrations erupted into violence. A total of 28,000 people demonstrated across France on Saturday including 4,700 in Paris, the interior ministry said.

This was more than in recent weeks but 10 times less the record 282,000 estimated for the whole country on Nov. 17, 2018, the first day of the protests. In Paris, police took 124 people in for questioning and 78 people were in custody, the authorities said.

Demonstrators, many clad in black and hiding their faces, vandalized an HSBC bank branch at the Place d'Italie. They set trash bins on fire, hurled cobblestones and bottles at riot police, and erected barricades. Several cars were set ablaze. Police responded with tear gas and blasts from water cannons.

Clashes also broke out between demonstrators and police near the Porte de Champerret, close to the Arc de Triomphe, as protesters prepared to march across town towards Gare d'Austerlitz. Police also intervened to prevent a few hundred demonstrators from occupying the Paris ring road.

Paris police prefect Didier Lallement canceled permission for a scheduled demonstration in view of the violence. There were still a few scattered clashes in the Les Halles area in central Paris by early evening.

In other cities, yellow vest demonstrations were largely peaceful, with 1,000 people marching in Marseille in southern France. The yellow vest protests, named for the high-visibility jackets worn by demonstrators, erupted in November 2018 over fuel price hikes and the high cost of living. The demonstrations spiraled into a broader movement against President Emmanuel Macron and his economic reforms.

The protests have lost strength in recent months but leaders called for people to turn out on Saturday to mark the anniversary. Protests have been banned near tourist spots such as the Eiffel Tower and 20 subway stations were closed on Saturday.

MACRON HEADACHE

The yellow vest movement was one of the toughest challenges to Macron's presidency before it dwindled in the early summer.

It evolved from nationwide road blockades into a series of often-violent demonstrations that pitted rowdy protesters with police and ravaged Paris and other cities. The crisis forced Macron to make policy concessions and delay the next wave of reforms, including overhauling the pension and unemployment systems.

Macron's plans to simplify the unwieldy and expensive pension system, which he says will make it fairer, is particularly unpopular. Trade unions have called on railway workers, Paris public transport staff, truck drivers and civil servants to strike against the pensions overhaul on Dec. 5 and in some cases beyond. Students and yellow vest protesters have called for people to join forces with the unions.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

South Africa's COVID-19 response: Surprising outcomes or just poor data management?

South Africa has been committed to improving its health information system and shows that a robust digital has considerable scope to improve healthcare for the entire population. But the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that significant ga...

Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Videos

Latest News

Babri case verdict: Delhi Police says keeping tight vigil in national capital

The Delhi Police Wednesday said they will keep a strict vigil in the national capital in view of the judgement in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case which is slated to be announced during the day. We will keep a watch on the security asp...

Saudi economy shrank by 7% in Q2 showing depth of coronavirus hit

Saudi Arabias economy shrank by 7 in the second quarter, a sign of how deeply the new coronavirus hit both the oil and non-oil sectors, official data showed on Wednesday. The worlds largest oil exporter is facing its worst ever economic dec...

Maha: Fire at Raymond office in Thane; no casualty

The fire broke out at textile and apparels firm Raymonds office building in Thane, Maharashtra, on Wednesday morning, an official said. Thane civic fire services received a call at 5.50 am about the blaze, the citys Regional Disaster Manage...

MI, KXIP look to move on after heartbreaking losses

Coming off heartbreaking losses, the Indian Premier League game between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab will be a test of character for both sides as they look to regain momentum here on Thursday. KXIP were at the receiving end of the hi...

Give Feedback