Paris RIOT: French capital in GRIP of VIOLENCE as Yellow Vest demand Macron 'LISTEN'

March 16, 2019
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Violent scenes could be seen across the route of the latest protest deadlocking on Saturday morning. Brasserie Fouquet’s, close to the central Champs-Élysées was partially destroyed, as windows were smashed and massive damage recorded on the inside of the historic Parisian restaurant. A public toilet was lit on fire causing billowing smoke to rise up to the sky as marchers chanted their demand to have French President listen to their demands for a fairer taxation policy.

Police deployed water cannons and tear gas in an attempt to push back Yellow Vest protesters but video emerged of officers trading blows with marchers amid growing tension between the two sides. 

Videos shared on social media appeared to record a producer of German video news agency Ruptly being hurt in the leg after the Police shot projectiles toward the crowds. 

More footage showed a building serving as headquarters to the Banque Tarneaud, on Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, on fire. 

Around 30 protesters were arrested.

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Interior Minister said thugs looking for trouble had infiltrated the demonstrations and gave the order to respond to “unacceptable attacks with the greatest firmness”.

“Let there be no doubt: they are looking for violence and are there to sow chaos in Paris,” Mr Castaner said in a Tweet.

What started out last November as a backlash against Mr Macron’s plan to has swelled into a wider movement against the government for ignoring the hardship faced by poorer households in France.

Mr Macron, who dropped the fuel tax increase and budgeted an extra €10 billion (£8.65 billion) to help the poorest workers, has also sought to defuse the unrest with a series of town hall-like meetings across France.

However, the weekly demonstrations, have been getting smaller since December, when Paris saw some of the worst vandalism and looting in decades.

But there have been calls from campaigners to up the pressure on the government throughout March.

Mr Macron’s team has toughened its stance on the rioters, voting in a new law to sanction undeclared protests and prevent those taking part in the rallies from wearing face-covering balaclavas to escape identity checks.

In addition, the government warned earlier this month that police would not hesitate to use flash grenade riot control guns in case of violence by demonstrators after the weapon was authorised by the country’s highest administrative court.

About 1,000 police officers have been injured along with 1,700 demonstrators since the start of the protests, according to official figures.

The in early March called for a “full investigation” into the possible use of force by France’s riot police during the anti-government protests.



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