French protesters, police clash on 'yellow vest' anniversary


Protesters and police have clashed in Paris as rallies to mark the one-year anniversary of the "yellow vest" demonstrations erupted in violence.

Demonstrators have torched cars and pelted police with stones and bottles while police fired tear gas and water cannons in Paris on the first anniversary of the anti-government "yellow vest" demonstrations.

Rallies to mark the occasion erupted into violence and police took 124 people in for questioning, with 78 people in custody, authorities said on Saturday.

Demonstrators, many clad in black and hiding their faces, vandalised an HSBC bank branch at the Place d'Italie.

They set rubbish bins on fire, hurled cobblestones and bottles at riot police, and erected barricades.

A journalist is injured and bleed during the Demonstration of the "yellow jacket" (yellow vests) marking the first anniversary of the movement near the Place d'Italie, Paris, France, on 16 November 2019. Photo by Raphael Lafargue/ABACAPRESS.COM.
A journalist is injured.

Several cars were set ablaze. Police responded with tear gas and water cannon blasts.

Clashes also broke out between demonstrators and police near the Porte de Champerret, close to the Arc de Triomphe, as protesters prepared to march across town towards Gare d'Austerlitz.

A Yellow Vest with a Joker make up holding a sign Everything must go.
A Yellow Vest with Joker make up holding a sign.

Police also intervened to prevent a few hundred demonstrators from occupying the Paris ring road.

Paris police prefect Didier Lallement cancelled permission for a scheduled demonstration in view of the violence.

General view of the place d'Italie in Paris under tear gas.
General view of the place d'Italie in Paris under tear gas.

In other cities, yellow vest demonstrations were largely peaceful, with 1000 people marching in Marseille in southern France.

The yellow vest protests, named for the high-visibility jackets worn by demonstrators, erupted in November 2018 over fuel price hikes and the high cost of living.

The demonstrations spiralled into a broader movement against French President Emmanuel Macron and his economic reforms.

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