Yellow Vests Clash with Police as Anti-Macron Protesters Rage Over Notre Dame
Riot police use tear gas in Paris on the 23rd Saturday of Yellow Vest protests
Yellow Vest protesters clashed with riot police on the streets of Paris on Saturday as the anti-Macron protests raged into their 23rd consecutive weekend.
A car, motorbikes, and barricades near the Place de la République were set ablaze as protesters rallied against President Macron's globalist policies in Paris and other French cities on Saturday.
The latest protests were fueled by anger over the government raising more than a billion dollars to help restore the burned Notre Dame cathedral while their demands to fight wealth inequality are being ignored.
Police were firing tear gas and using water cannons to disperse the tense crowds of several thousand people around France's finance ministry.
Firefighters acted fast to put out several small fires in the area.
Local reports from the scene describe a number of wounded protesters being carried away by emergency personnel on stretchers.
According to NPR, French police detained 189 people and took 110 into custody.
The Interior Ministry says there were 6,700 protesters in Paris and more than 10,000 across the country.
Activists have marched in the streets every Saturday since November urging French President Emmanuel Macron to respond to a social crisis that has crippled the working class and elderly in France.
Protesters were banned from the Île de la Cité, the site of Notre Dame, and other major thoroughfares in the city.
Some 60,000 police officers were patrolling the streets.
Protesters are calling Saturday's demonstrations their "second ultimatum" against Macron and his government.
The night Notre Dame caught fire, Macron canceled a speech to propose solutions to the Yellow Vest movement.
He is expected to hold a press conference on Thursday.
While the number of protesters has dwindled in recent weeks, French officials had warned that the marches could attract more protesters following the shock and sadness of the Notre Dame fire.
Many protesters were set off by how quickly French billionaires pledged funds to restore the damaged cathedral, while many working class people in France struggle to pay their bills.