Protests erupt in Paris on anniversary of anti-government gilets jaunes movement

16 November 2019, 14:13

Crowds gathered across Paris on the anniversary of the movement
Crowds gathered across Paris on the anniversary of the movement. Picture: PA

Protests have erupted in Paris on the anniversary of the anti-government gilets jaunes movement, with police firing teargas at activists.

Hundreds of demonstrators descended on the French capital to mark a year since the protests started, with dozens of marches planned across the country.

Police used a water cannon to drive back protesters after they vandalised a bank and set a scooter and a car on fire.

Protesters smashed a bank in the south of Paris
Protesters smashed a bank in the south of Paris. Picture: PA

A shopping centre in the south of the city was also targeted and roadblocks appeared in the streets.

Police in riot gear guarded key sites, including the Arc de Triomphe, with 54 people arrested by 1pm and 1,600 searches carried out.

23 train stations were closed ahead of Saturday’s action, including those near the Champs Elysees and Eiffel Tower.

Fires were started in the streets as unrest swelled
Fires were started in the streets as unrest swelled. Picture: PA

The protests started last year over fuel prices and the high cost of living but grew into a wider anti-Macron movement.

Tens of thousands attended the initial protests, reaching 300,000 at their peak, but numbers dwindled in recent months.

More protests are expected on Sunday
More protests are expected on Sunday. Picture: PA

Further protests are also expected on Sunday ahead of a union-organised transport strike on December 5 over pension reform.

2,500 demonstrators and 1,800 police officers have been injured in the last year, with 3,000 convicted of various crimes.

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