More than 100 yellow vest activists have been arrested in Paris following protests over the cost of living crisis. Story by the Evening Standard
Hundreds of people wearing gilet jaunes, some in masks, sparked chaos after descending on the Place de la République and near the Champs Elysées, on Saturday.
The demonstrators had taken to the streets to rail against President Emmanuel Macron’s reforms and rising prices amid soaring inflation.
Riot police swooped in and broke up the protests. Most of those detained were fined for “gathering with the intention of committing violence or damaging property”.
The activists had responded to calls on social media urging people to “occupy the streets of Paris” and create a “black September” to “revolt against the traitors who govern us”. Similar protests broke out in Toulouse, Lyon and elsewhere.
The “yellow vest” movement started among provincial workers camped out at traffic circles to protest a hike in fuel taxes, sporting the high-visibility vests all French drivers must keep in their cars for emergencies.
It quickly spread to people across political, regional, social and generational divides angry at economic injustice and the way President Emmanuel Macron is running France.
At its height in 2019, a quarter of a million people marched around France, and polls suggested more than 80 percent of French people supported the movement.
Government officials are reportedly concerned that the movement could continue to cause problems following the protests.
“We have to be very careful with the lower-paid workers, the ones who are not on any benefits. They are the ones where the fire could start,” an unnamed minister told the Midi Libre newspaper.
Another said: “The yellow vest crisis is in all our minds. In my sector I really sense that the match is getting near the gunpowder barrel”. Continue reading the story in full: Yellow vests: Hundreds arrested in Paris following protests over cost of living crisis