Thousands of Paris police deployed over 'yellow vest' clash fears

22 Septembre, 2019, 14:45 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Thousands of Paris police deployed over 'yellow vest' clash fears

A key figure in the yellow-vest movement, Jerome Rodrigues, had billed Saturday's protest as "a revelatory demonstration", claiming "many people are going to come to Paris".

People take part in an anti-government demonstration called by the "yellow vest" (gilets jaunes) movement, on September 21, 2019 in Paris.

Saturday coincides with the annual European Heritage Days weekend, when public and private buildings normally off-limits to the public are open to visitors.

Authorities have deployed more than 7,000 police and banned protests in a large central area including the presidential palace, government and parliament buildings, the Champs-Elysees avenue, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral.

A protest march on climate change brought thousands of people to the streets of Paris, including some agitators who scuffled with police and drew tear gas in response.

Even before the protests began, the police announced that they had arrested 39 people.

A spokeswoman for one French climate campaigning group ANV-COP21, which describes itself as non-violent, denounced the police's use of tear gas and stun grenades on peaceful marchers in the climate protest.

Most demonstrators did not wear the fluorescent vests that gave the movement its name.

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Climate activists are demonstrating Saturday afternoon in Paris to demand more action from the government and companies to reduce emissions and save the burning Amazon rainforest and the melting Arctic.

Mr Macron made multiple concessions to the movement, including a €10 billion package of measures to boost purchasing power.

Local authorities had issued a decree Wednesday forbidding the yellow vest protests on the Champs-Elysees over the weekend.

A separate march on Saturday was called by the FO trade union to contest the government's planned overhaul of France's retirement system.

Similar skirmishes occurred later in the march with the prefecture again attributing violence to black blocs.

But participation in the protests fell sharply by the spring, and only sporadic protests were seen over the summer.

"My challenge is to listen to people much better than I did at the very beginning", said the president, whose popularity has suffered in the wake of the unrest.

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