Dozens Arrested in Tense 'Yellow Vest' March in Paris

Dozens Arrested in Tense 'Yellow Vest' March in Paris

French police had arrested 137 individuals in Paris by 16:00 local time (1400 GMT), as "Yellow Vest" protests against President Emmanuel Macron's fiscal policy hit streets again on Saturday.

Some 7,500 police were deployed for the two protests, and they moved in quickly to target the hardline elements and dismantle the barricades, made from burning bins and construction materials.

A protest march on climate change brought thousands of people to the streets of Paris, including some agitators who scuffled with police and drew tear gas in response. Over 300 people received 135-euro (NZ$237.63) fines for demonstrating in a banned area.

By the afternoon, police had arrested 106 demonstrators, police headquarters said, adding that some had been found to carry hammers or petrol canisters.

The movement emerged late previous year, triggered by fuel tax rises and swelling into a revolt against President Emmanuel Macron's style of government.

The police have been criticised for being heavy-handed in the clashes, not just with hardcore anti-capitalist "black bloc" groups blamed for much of the violence that has accompanied the demonstrations, but also with ordinary protesters.

Environmental activists and a far-left workers union also had organized Saturday protests.

Saturday's protests interfered with France's annual Heritage Day, when well-known sites open their doors to the public.

Most demonstrators didn't wear the fluorescent vests that gave the movement its name.

A demonstrator faces police officers on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, Sept. 21, 2019.

Among other sweeteners, he proposed "an economic and social emergency plan", worth 10 billion euros (11.02 billion US dollars) to boost purchasing power.

Hard-left union Workers' Force is holding a separate march against the retirement reform Saturday, amid concerns it will require people to work longer and reduce pensions.

Some sites, such as the Arc de Triomphe monument that suffered damage during a yellow-vest protest last December, were closed while others such as the Elysee presidential palace required visitors to register in advance.

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