French police fire tear gas at 'yellow vest' protesters

21 September 2019, 21:54

"Yellow vest" protesters disrupted France&squot;s annual heritage weekend
"Yellow vest" protesters disrupted France's annual heritage weekend. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Paris police arrested dozens of demonstrators during a revival of the "yellow vest" protests on a day of dissent in the French capital.

Activists opposed to French President Emmanuel Macron's economic policies clashed with police in Paris in a resurgence of the "gilet jaunes" movement.

French officers responded by firing tear gas and sting-ball grenades at a few hundred demonstrators who attempted to gather in central areas where protests were banned.

Nearly 7,000 police, some in full riot gear, were deployed around the presidential palace, government and parliament buildings, the Champs-Elysees, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral.

At least 39 were arrested during the "yellow vest" protests, but most activists were not wearing the iconic fluorescent jackets whilst taking part.

Dozens of masked and hooded individuals dressed in black infiltrated a climate protest by breaking windows at a bank and shops and setting fire to a makeshift barricade in the street.

French riot police fired tear gas and sting-ball grenades at demonstrators
French riot police fired tear gas and sting-ball grenades at demonstrators. Picture: PA

The news comes as environmental activists and far-left union workers also took to the streets of France on the same day of its annual heritage weekend.

Climate activists in Paris demanded more action from both the government and from companies in order to reduce emissions.

They also marched to raise awareness of fires in the Amazon rainforest and melting ice caps in the Arctic.

The hard-left Workers Force union protested against retirement reform amid concerns it will require people to work longer and reduce pensions.

A total of 163 arrests were made and 400 fines issued on what was a chaotic day in the French capital.

The heritage weekend had Parisians and tourists lining up to visit landmarks and government buildings, including the Elysee presidential palace and Mr Macron's office.

"Yellow vest" protesters joined environmental activists on an eventful day in Paris
"Yellow vest" protesters joined environmental activists on an eventful day in Paris. Picture: PA

However, the public could only access the Elysee after pre-registering and passing security checks.

Some monuments, including the Arc de Triomphe, which suffered damage during a yellow vest protest in December, were kept closed to the public.

Authorities said they needed police to focus on the protests rather than securing the sites.

The yellow vest movement emerged in November 2018 and swelled into weekly protests in Paris and other French cities, leading to several violent clashes between protesters and police.

However the group's activities reduced this summer after Mr Macron made multiple concessions to the movement, including a €10bn package of measures to boost purchasing power.

But anger is now mounting again over his plans to overhaul France's costly, complicated pension system.

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Putin is 'not interested in genuine peace' in Ukraine, Rishi Sunak tells world in Switzerland

Putin is 'not interested in genuine peace' in Ukraine, Rishi Sunak tells world leaders in Switzerland

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza - as Palestinian death toll reaches '37,000'

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack since January

Olympic rings on the Eiffel Tower in Paris

IOC gives 14 Russians and 11 Belarusians neutral status for Paris Olympics

The ride got stuck upside down

Horrifying moment people get stuck upside down on theme park ride, as dozens have to be rescued

Muslim pilgrims standing at the top of the rocky hill known as the Mountain of Mercy

Muslim pilgrims converge at Mount Arafat for worship as Hajj reaches its peak

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, arrives at Zurich airport in Switzerland

World leaders to meet at Swiss resort on possible Ukraine peace roadmap

Alex Jones speaking to the media after arriving at court in Houston, Texas, for a hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge on Friday

Judge rules Alex Jones’ assets to be sold to help pay Sandy Hook debt

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa raises his hands in parliament after being re-elected for a second term

Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as South African president for second term after deal

Co-founder of Ozy Media, Carlos Watson arrives at Brooklyn Federal Court, for an earlier hearing

Google chief gives evidence at fraud trial of Ozy Media founder

Justice Department

US attorney general will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress

A 12-year-old child was injured at the Valkea shopping centre in Oulu after a stabbing

'Far-right' knifeman attacks two children at Finnish shopping centre, leaving 12-year-old seriously wounded

The leaders of France left-wing coalition for the upcoming election Green Party Yannick Jadot, Communist Party national secretary Fabien Roussel, Socialist Party Secretary General Olivier Faure Presid

France’s leftist alliance leaders vow to ‘extinguish the flame’ of far right

G7 world leaders and other leaders from guest nations attend a working session on artificial intelligence, on day two of the 50th G7 summit in southern Italy

G7 leaders tackle migration, AI and economic security on final day of summit

Cyril Ramaphosa listens as members of parliament are sworn in ahead of an expected vote to decide if he is re-elected as leader of the country

Ramaphosa set for re-election in South Africa after coalition agreement

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky talks to journalists during a news conference in Italy

How 50 billion-dollar loan for Ukraine backed by frozen Russian assets will work

Lynn Conway sitting on a bench at the University of Michigan

Lynn Conway, microchip pioneer who overcame transgender prejudice, dies aged 86