Paris (AP) – French yellow vest protesters set life-threatening fires, smashed up luxury stores in Paris and clashed with police on March 16 in the 18th straight weekend of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron.
Large plumes of smoke rose above the rioting on Paris’ landmark Champs-Elysees avenue, and a mother and her child were just barely saved from a building blaze.
Cobblestones flew in the air and smoke from fires set by protesters mingled with clouds of tear gas sprayed by police, as tensions continued for hours along the Champs-Elysees.
By dusk, as the demonstrators had dispersed, the famed avenue was a blackened expanse.
The resurgent violence comes at a watershed moment for a movement, which had been fizzling in recent weeks, and at the end of a two-month-long national debate called by Macron that protesters say failed to answer their demands for economic justice.
Police appeared to be caught off guard by the speed and severity of Saturday’s unrest. French riot police tried to contain the demonstrators with repeated volleys of tear gas and water cannon, with limited success.
The China Post with AP