Police use tear gas, arrest scores at Yellow Vest protest

21 Avril, 2019, 04:39 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • People kneel and pray while flames engulf Notre Dame on Monday

Yellow Vest protestors in Paris have set fire to vehicles and barricades - many declaring that rebuilding the fire damaged Notre Dame cathedral shouldn't be the government's only priority.

By late afternoon, police were firing tear gas and water cannons to disperse a tense crowd of several thousand people around France's Finance Ministry. "Or if, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should endow Notre Dame with a new spire".

Catholic worshippers carried out the Way of the Cross ritual near the cathedral to mark Good Friday, and the Crown of Thorns relic saved from the fire was presented to worshippers at the nearby Saint-Sulpice Church.

Considering each hive is home to 60,000 bees, Notre Dame beekeeper Nicolas Geant was beyond relieved to learn the fire didn't hurt the insects.

Yellow vest protests grew violent on Saturday as firefighters battled several fires amid clouds of tear gas in eastern Paris.

Geant has looked after the bees since 2013 when they were installed on the lead roofing of the famed monument as part of a city-wide initiative to boost declining bee numbers.

The Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims is lighten on April 16, 2019 with a message reading in French "Reims watches over Notre-Dame" a day after the fire that ripped through Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.

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Health officials in Paris meanwhile denied allegations that hospital staff had passed on the details of injured yellow vest protesters to police.

"The global competition will allow us to ask the question of whether we should even recreate the spire as it was conceived by Viollet-le-Duc", Philippe said. "There is a lot of injustice".

Macron had been scheduled to lay out his responses to yellow vest concerns on Monday night - but cancelled the speech because the Notre Dame fire broke out.

He will now unveil that package on Thursday, though many yellow jackets protesters have already made it clear they expect little.

Macron is moving quickly on the fire-ravaged monument's reconstruction, which is being viewed both as a push to make it part of his legacy and a way to move past the divisive yellow vest protests over social inequality in France.

The so-called Yellow Vest protests erupted in mid-November originally over fuel price hikes and the high cost of living but spiraled into a broader movement against Macron and his drive for economic reforms.


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