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Act VIII of the Yellow Vests see an increased number of protesters

Act VIII of the movement by the Yellow Vests launched on Saturday, January 5 was calm in the morning, but clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement broke out in the capital and in the provinces. 

Published: January 6, 2019, 8:25 am

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    On Saturday the Yellow Vests marked their first protest of the year 2019. According to French Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner, 50 000 demonstrators was present throughout France.

    That is almost twice as much as during the previous day of mobilization. A few hours earlier, the Ministry of the Interior had announced only 25 000 demonstrators, suggesting that the number of people out on the streets could have been more that eventually amended.

    In Paris, between 500 and 600 Yellow Vests gathered on the Champs-Elysees in the morning, quietly, and held a meeting. Many demonstrators were also present at Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, from where a procession left to join the National Assembly, composed of more than 1 500 protesters.

    This demonstration was declared to the police headquarters by the collective La France en colère, organized around two figures of the movement, Eric Drouet and Priscillia Ludosky.

    Maxime Nicolle, known as “Fly Rider”, was also present and directly accused Emmanuel Macron: “You drag things out by proposing false measures or scoops that the people of France refuse,” he said.

    The first clashes erupted in the capital at around 2 pm, reported 20 Minutes. On the banks of the Seine, near the Hôtel de Ville, protesters threw projectiles at the police who responded with tear gas.

    They called in reinforcement of CRS officers. On the road leading to the National Assembly, new clashes erupted on the Leopold-Sedar-Senghor footbridge, which connects the two banks of the Seine at the Tuileries Gardens.

    After these incidents, the procession scattered before regrouping in Boulevard Saint-Germain, where a Cityscoot was burned, causing a large plume of smoke. A houseboat was also burned at the Musée d’Orsay.

    Earlier in the day, more than a thousand protesters had also gathered in front of AFP headquarters chanting “BFM fuckers”, alluding to BFM-TV which had been exposed distributing fake news.

    Interior Minister Christophe Castaner called “everyone to responsibility and respect for the law”.

    In the provinces, the mobilization in Bordeaux was the most notable, with more than 5 000 demonstrators present, a record for the city.

    Rouen counted 1 700 demonstrators at 11 am, according to the prefect of Seine-Maritime, Fabienne Buccio. That number increased a lot over the afternoon. Four people were arrested on the sidelines of a relatively calm procession.

    Three of them wore balaclavas and carried weapons in the form of a knife or a stick, according to Le Monde. A helicopter from the gendarmerie monitored the area.

    In Toulouse protesters counted 4 000 and in Lille, clashes between police and demonstrators quickly broke out. The prefecture counted 800 protesters, some of whom are wearing paper masks with the image of … Alexandre Benalla. Benalla had been caught assaulting peaceful protesters last year.

    In the Oise, between 350 and 400 people walked to the Beauvais airport this morning. In the presence of police, the demonstrators, who numbered 600, turned back towards the city center, where they were also repelled with tear gas.

    Several blocking operations also took place in Avignon and Marseille, as well as a snail operation in Quimper.

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