During a demonstration of the 'Yellow Hesjes' in Paris, the police arrested at least 123 demonstrators on Saturday, the authorities said via Twitter. The riot police are trying to prevent the group from disrupting two other demonstrations in Paris, including a climate demonstration.
The French police already had 7,500 police officers ready to intervene in the event of possible disturbances. In addition to the climate demonstration and the 'Yellow Hesjes' protest, a demonstration will take place in the center of the city on Saturday afternoon against announced pension reforms by President Emmanuel Macron.
The first disturbances took place around 10 am at Saint-Lazare station, where an unannounced demonstration of 'Yellow Hesjes' took place. Agents use tear gas. According to the French newspaper Le Parisien , thirty people were arrested less than an hour later.
During searches and bag checks, the police seized explosive material, reports the French newspaper.
Sur les Champs Elysees: tirs de gaz lacrymo démarrent. #GiletsJaunes # Acte45 #ParisAvatar
Tensions also rose at Place de la Madeleine. 'Gele Hesjes' was told to leave there, because demonstration on the square is forbidden. On the famous Champs Elysees, too, it is restless and the riot police are using tear gas.
'Yellow vests' no longer wear yellow vests
The 'Yellow Hesjes' movement began in November with protests against planned increases in gasoline excise duties, but is now generally opposed to government reform plans. Contrary to what their name suggests, the demonstrators usually no longer wear a yellow vest. This makes it more difficult for the police to monitor the group.
In the beginning there were almost a quarter of a million participants in the protests, but their number is falling sharply. How many 'Yellow Hesjes' are on Saturday in the 45th week of the protests is still unclear.
- Want to know what you missed at night? And an update on the most important news around lunch? Subscribe now to our daily newsletter!