Protesters angry about rising taxes clashed with French police for a third straight weekend and scores were arrested after demonstrators built barricades in central Paris, lit fires and threw rocks at officers Saturday.
According to figures released by French interior ministry, around 75,000 demonstrators took to the streets today in the anti-Macron protests.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said earlier on Saturday that “1,500 troublemakers” were around the Champs-Elysées avenue, outside a perimeter secured by police, who said that 270 people were arrested. Protesters, including some wearing black hoodies, piled up large plywood planks and other material in the middle of a street near the Arc de Triomphe, and set the debris on fire.
At least 110 people have been injured, including 17 police officers. French authorities have drafted thousands of extra police officers into Paris.
Meanwhile demonstrators have stolen an assault rifle from a police van in central Paris, according to police sources. At least 19 Paris metro stations have been shut due to the unrest, French TV news channel BFMTV has reported.
Paris’s Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores have been evacuated because of the violence linked, while firemen were called to put out a fire at a building near the Champs-Elysées, according to a Reuters witness.
Protesters also smashed the windows of shops including branches of Chanel, Dior and Apple.
Police fired tear gas to try to push back the protesters around the monument, and used water cannons near Champs-Elysées avenue. Some demonstrators responded by throwing large rocks.- France 24