100s detained, tear gas fired: Yellow Vest mayhem hits Paris on 4th weekend
via RT-World News
French police fired the first batches of tear gas on Saturday as massive crowds of Yellow Vest protesters swarmed into the heart of the capital on the 4th weekend of unrest. Hundreds were detained prior to and at the rally.
Police detained at least 700 people across the country, including 575 in Paris, during the rallies, Secretary of State to the Interior Minister Laurent Nunez confirmed, as cited by French media. The official added that a total of 31,000 people have been demonstrating in France.
30 people, including 3 police officers, have been injured during the Paris mayhem, according to the latest official figures. A reporter with RIA Novosti, Viktoria Ivanova, was affected by tear gas during the clashes.
“I’ve been working in the immediate vicinity of [police] roadblock, when police used tear gas in response to hooliganism,” she said. “I have protection – mask, helmet and eye drops. I’m feeling well, at least as [well as] a person after being gassed can feel.”
The rally on the iconic Champs-Elysees avenue became inflamed right after 10:00 am (local time). Videos from the area show people coughing and sneezing after tear gas canisters were fired into the lines of demonstrators.
Tear gas deployed at #YellowVests protest in Paris
— RT (@RT_com) December 8, 2018
Several hours into the protests, trucks armed with water cannon arrived in the heart of the capital.
The violence unfolded in the capital as several Yellow Vest protesters built barricades in the city centre and set them on fire.
Beefing up its presence, law enforcement also deployed armored vehicles belonging to the French Gendarmerie – the military police. The hardware was stationed right next to the Arc de Triomphe,which last week saw one of the fiercest battles between police and rioters.
This is the fourth consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vests protests, with levels of violence between police and demonstrators that has not been seen in decades. Last week, the unrest peaked again, resulting in over 400 arrests. Scores of people were also injured during the heavy-handed police response. Officers also suffered injuries while trying to handle the situation.
The French government says for now it has abandoned the plans for fuel price hikes and a higher tax, which triggered the rallies. The unrest, however, is still far from losing steam. The demonstrators are billing their action on Saturday as “Act IV. Stay on the course” and are demanding more concessions, including lower taxes, a higher minimum wage and for some even the resignation of Emmanuel Macron.
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