The protest of the ‘yellow jackets’ against rising fuel prices left central Paris on Saturday, with hundreds of protesters erecting barricades on fire and fighting police in the Champs-Elysees. At least 30 people have been detained and dozens injured, many of them members of the security forces.
More than 8,000 demonstrators stormed the popular Parisian avenue early in the morning, despite a ban by city officials who had made the Camp de Marte available for the protests.
The protest even began in a peaceful manner, with protesters shouting slogans against President Emmanuel Macron and his administration, but small groups of radicals began throwing objects at police who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
The two sides were involved in a real pitched battle that continued until nightfall and left the touristy area more like a war zone with deserted terraces and burning barricades.
PR Emmanuel Macron welcomed the “courage and professionalism” of the security forces and denounced the “shameful acts” of the demonstrators. The government blamed Marine Le Pen and the far right for violence.
23% rise in a year
‘Yellow vests’ protest against high fuel prices. Diesel, for example, rose by 23% in the last year. The government justifies the increases with the need to finance environmental policies and has already announced a new 6.5 cents increase in diesel and 2.9 cents in gasoline for January.