Posted on Jan 12, 2019
Paris police fired water cannon and tear gas to push back “Gilets Jaunes” demonstrators from around the Arc de Triomphe monument on Saturday (Jan 12th), in the ninth straight weekend of protests against French President Emmanuel Macron’s economic reforms, Reuters reports.
Thousands of protesters in Paris marched noisily but mostly peacefully through the Grands Boulevards shopping area in northern Paris, close to where a massive gas explosion in a bakery killed two firefighters and a Spanish tourist and injured nearly 50 people early on Saturday.
A few small groups of demonstrators broke away from the designated route and threw bottles and other projectiles at the police.
Around the 19th-century Arc de Triomphe at the top of the Champs Elysees boulevard, riot police fired water cannon and tear gas at militant protesters after being pelted with stones and paint, according to witnesses.
Groups of protesters also gathered on and around the Champs Elysees, the scene of disturbances in recent weeks, many of them calling loudly for Macron to resign.
“Macron, we are going to tear down your place!” one banner read.
The Interior Ministry estimated that there were a maximum of about 84,000 demonstrators nationwide on Saturday - more than the 50,000 counted last week but well below the record 282,000 estimated on Nov. 17, the first day of the protests.
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