Riot police clash with yellow vest protesters in Paris

11 February, 2019, 07:13 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Riot police clash with yellow vest protesters in Paris

Despite a drop in numbers from the massive turnouts of the first demonstrations in November, thousands still turned out in cities across the country to protest against French President Emmanuel Macron's policies.

Earlier on Saturday, activists in Latvia staged a picket in front of the French embassy in Riga, the capital of the small Baltic EU country, to support the yellow vest movement and urge Latvians to demand higher living standards.

Today, there have been more clashes between riot police and protestors on the street, with tear gas and grenades deployed.

Protesters wearing yellow vests take part in a demonstration by the "yellow vests" movement in Paris, France February 9, 2019. "He wanted to bat it away so it didn't explode by his leg and it went off when he touched it".

More than 5,000 of Saturday's protesters were in Paris, where there were 38 arrests following widespread rioting that saw several critical governmental and private infrastructure targeted.

One protester, a photographer for the Yellow Vest demonstrations, had his right hand blown off by a police grenade. This was the 11th time he had marched with the movement, he said.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner went to Twitter to express his "disgust" as protesters set alight an anti-terror military auto.

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A vehicle, motorbikes and multiple trash bins were set ablaze as the protest moved toward the city's Invalides monument but France's Interior Ministry said this week's protest was significantly smaller than last week's.

"The governments of France and Italy have their differences", he said.

Protests also took place in other French cities, including Marseille, Montpellier, Bordeaux and Toulouse, the BBC noted.

But last week's official estimates were disputed both by march organisers and contradicted by an independent estimate carried out for news media, which gave a higher estimate.

But a YouGov poll of 1,037 people issued on Thursday suggested that almost two out of three people in France (64 per cent) still support the movement.

The protests have brought hundreds of thousands of people out onto the streets all over France.

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