Violent clashes erupted between anti-riot police and protestors in Paris after yellow vests demonstrators and anti-capitalist activists joined a climate change march.
Yellow vests (gilets jaunes); an anti-government movement took the streets in an attempt to revive their movement as climate change activists were marching on.
Black Bloc activists were also present with their black clothes, some with their faces covered in black masks.
The protestors set fire to bins and smashed the front windows of several shops.
Up to 7500 police officers were deployed to the streets of Paris to disperse the protestors who took advantage of the authorized climate demonstration and a separate trade union protest taking place elsewhere in the city.
Police used tear gas, shields and truncheons as they pushed back the protest. Police said at least 163 people had been arrested as of Saturday afternoon, and nearly 400 received €135 fines for demonstrating in a banned area.
Organized by NGOs and Greenpeace, “March for Climate” protestors were called to leave as “conditions for a non-violent march are not met.”
The Champs-Élysées, popular with tourists and Parisians alike, has been a focal point for the gilets jaunes since the movement against President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed economic reforms began. The protests, now in their 45th week, have proven an enduring challenge to Macron’s presidency.