French Yellow Vest protesters hit the streets to demonstrate against President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday for the 18th straight weekend.
They clashed with riot police, prompting the use of tear gas and a water cannon to disperse the agitators. A number of streets in the capital were closed but violence increased. Protesters threw smoke bombs and other objects at officers along the Champs-Elysees and hit the windows of a police van. Large plumes of smoke on Saturday were over Champs-Elysees avenue. More than 100 arrests were made. A bank and the ground floor of a seven-storey residential building were in fire. Eleven people, including two firefighters, sustained light injuries at the place. A total of sixty people, including 17 police officers and a fireman, were injured Saturday.
The restaurant Fouquet’s, where former President Nicolas Sarkozy celebrated his election in May 2007, was among the vandalized establishments. Interior Minister Christophe Castane described protesters as a „ultraviolent minority” and estimated their number at about 8,000. "No doubt: they are calling for violence and are here to wreak havoc," he tweeted. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, during an interview Saturday warned that those who "excuse or encourage" the ongoing protests are "complicit." Last week, around 28,000 people demonstrated nationwide, according to the authorities. There were in Paris sympathisers from Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland.