Paris rocked by worst riots in 50 years
More than 400 protesters were arrested in Paris in the third consecutive weekend of clashes, the worst violence to hit the French capital in 50 years.
The unrest, the worst of President Emmanunel Macron’s administration, prompted the French leader to assemble his ministers Sunday for an emergency meeting.
The protest of “gilets jaunes,” or yellow vests, named for the reflective safety garb worn by many participants, shows the widespread societal disenchantment with the declining standard of living in France.
As ThinkProgress’ Luke Barnes reported on Saturday, thousands of protesters took part in the demonstrations, overwhelming police, who responded with tear gas, water canons and stun grenades.
The masked demonstrators torched cars and hurled projectiles during demonstrations against fuel tax hikes. More than 100 people were injured in the violence, news reports said.
Macron on Sunday surveyed graffiti and vandalism at the Arc de Triomphe, the military monument at one end of the Champs-Élysées, France’s most famous shopping street. A statue of Marianne, symbol of the French Republic, was vandalized and lay in pieces at the site.
The some of the city’s most elegant streets were littered with debris, including fragments of broken pavement and teargas canisters.
The Guardian newspaper reported Sunday that government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux did not rule out imposing a state of emergency to quell the demonstrations.