French yellow vest protests staged amid enhanced security

Authorities banned protests Saturday from the capital’s Champs-Elysees avenue

The French government vowed to strengthen security as yellow vest protesters stage a 19th round of demonstrations, in an effort to avoid a repeat of last week’s riots in Paris.

Authorities banned protests Saturday from the capital’s Champs-Elysees avenue and central areas of several cities including Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille and Nice in the south, and Rouen in western France.

In Paris, some yellow vests protesters were gathering Saturday morning on Trocadero plaza, next to the Eiffel Tower. Others issued calls for a demonstration from the Denfert-Rochereau plaza, in southern Paris, to tourist hotspot Montmartre in the north.

The new Paris police chief, Didier Lallement, who took charge following last week’s protests, said specific police units have been created to react faster to any violence.

About 6,000 police officers are deployed in the capital and two drones are helping to monitor the demonstrations.

Authorities also deployed soldiers to protect sensitive sites and allow police forces to focus on maintaining order during the protests.

President Emmanuel Macron on Friday dismissed criticism from opposition leaders regarding the involvement of the military.

READ MORE: French yellow vests protest for 16th straight weekend

“Those trying to scare people, or to scare themselves, are wrong,” he said in Brussels.

The French government announced new security measures this week and replaced the Paris police chief with Lallement following riots on the Champs-Elysees that left luxury stores ransacked and charred from arson fires.

Last week’s surge in violence came as the 4-month-old anti-government movement has been dwindling.

The protests started in November to oppose fuel tax hikes but have expanded into a broader rejection of Macron’s economic policies, which protesters say favour businesses and the wealthy over ordinary French workers.

The yellow vest movement was named after the fluorescent garments that French motorists must carry in their vehicles for emergencies.

Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Developers go back to drawing board after high-rise application deferred by Parksville council

IAG Developments has proposed a multi-building development on city’s waterfront

WATCH: Parksville Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first extended steps in nearly three decades

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Parksville man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Nick Major, 21, was a taekwondo instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

How to judge the sand sculptures like a pro at the 2019 Parksville Beach Festival

World-class arbiter gives insight on how to choose a winner

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

Rescue required after woman falls trying to climb down from Nanaimo walkway

Husband says his wife fell trying to find a place to urinate

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read