Bear mascot is battered to ground during Yellow Vest rally

Tear gas and baton charges were used by French police on thousands of Yellow Vest protestors threatening the Arc de Triomphe in Paris today during more mass anti-government demonstrations.

The ugly scenes came on the 9th Saturday in a row of violence that now routinely reduces the capital city to a war zone. 

In Paris, epicentre of the fiery street clashes and vandalism that have made global headlines, 5,000 riot police were on hand, using tall barricades and armoured vehicles to lock down the central Place de la Concorde and surrounding districts.

Hundreds of officers were also on guard on the Champs-Elysees, where banks, jewellery stores and other shops had boarded up windows in anticipation of renewed looting and violence.

Yet many cafes and retailers on the iconic avenue remained open for business, as several thousands of protesters marched calmly from the Place de la Bastille toward the Arc de Triomphe early in the afternoon.

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Tear gas and baton charges were used by French police on thousands of Yellow Vest protestors threatening the Arc de Triomphe in Paris today during more mass anti-government demonstration. The ugly scenes came on the 9th Saturday in a row of violence that now routinely reduces the capital city to a war zone

Tear gas and baton charges were used by French police on thousands of Yellow Vest protestors threatening the Arc de Triomphe in Paris today during more mass anti-government demonstration. The ugly scenes came on the 9th Saturday in a row of violence that now routinely reduces the capital city to a war zone

Tear gas and baton charges were used by French police on thousands of Yellow Vest protestors threatening the Arc de Triomphe in Paris today during more mass anti-government demonstration. The ugly scenes came on the 9th Saturday in a row of violence that now routinely reduces the capital city to a war zone

There were 5000 police and gendarmes standing by for trouble, and it started in the early afternoon when a march reached the Champs Elysee, the most famous shopping avenue in France. Yellow Vest (Gilets jaunes) protesters are pictured waving flags reading RIC for 'Citizens' Initiative Referendum'

There were 5000 police and gendarmes standing by for trouble, and it started in the early afternoon when a march reached the Champs Elysee, the most famous shopping avenue in France. Yellow Vest (Gilets jaunes) protesters are pictured waving flags reading RIC for 'Citizens' Initiative Referendum'

There were 5000 police and gendarmes standing by for trouble, and it started in the early afternoon when a march reached the Champs Elysee, the most famous shopping avenue in France. Yellow Vest (Gilets jaunes) protesters are pictured waving flags reading RIC for ‘Citizens’ Initiative Referendum’

Within minutes huge white clouds of tear gas were smothering the area, covering rioters, as well as Saturday afternoon shoppers. By 3pm there had been 42 arrests in the Paris areas, many of them of suspected rioters carrying potential weapons

Within minutes huge white clouds of tear gas were smothering the area, covering rioters, as well as Saturday afternoon shoppers. By 3pm there had been 42 arrests in the Paris areas, many of them of suspected rioters carrying potential weapons

Within minutes huge white clouds of tear gas were smothering the area, covering rioters, as well as Saturday afternoon shoppers. By 3pm there had been 42 arrests in the Paris areas, many of them of suspected rioters carrying potential weapons

French police take positions during a yellow vest protest in Marseille. Repeated scuffles broke out between French anti-government protesters and police near the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris. Security forces used tear gas and a water cannon to push back some protesters who were throwing rocks and other objects at them

French police take positions during a yellow vest protest in Marseille. Repeated scuffles broke out between French anti-government protesters and police near the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris. Security forces used tear gas and a water cannon to push back some protesters who were throwing rocks and other objects at them

French police take positions during a yellow vest protest in Marseille. Repeated scuffles broke out between French anti-government protesters and police near the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris. Security forces used tear gas and a water cannon to push back some protesters who were throwing rocks and other objects at them

Paris police say at least 53 people were arrested before and during the protest in the French capital. They have also arrested some protesters during scuffles near the Arc de Triomphe. Police armored vehicles have been set up near the monument to help prevent protesters from getting to the nearby Champs-Elysees

Paris police say at least 53 people were arrested before and during the protest in the French capital. They have also arrested some protesters during scuffles near the Arc de Triomphe. Police armored vehicles have been set up near the monument to help prevent protesters from getting to the nearby Champs-Elysees

Paris police say at least 53 people were arrested before and during the protest in the French capital. They have also arrested some protesters during scuffles near the Arc de Triomphe. Police armored vehicles have been set up near the monument to help prevent protesters from getting to the nearby Champs-Elysees

Masked demonstrators stand amid smoke of teargas canisters launched by anti-riot police in a street heading to the Arena of Nimes in background during an anti-government demonstrations. The Vests have been joined by extremists from the far Right and the ultra-Left, as well as anarchists intent on causing as much damage as possible

Masked demonstrators stand amid smoke of teargas canisters launched by anti-riot police in a street heading to the Arena of Nimes in background during an anti-government demonstrations. The Vests have been joined by extremists from the far Right and the ultra-Left, as well as anarchists intent on causing as much damage as possible

Masked demonstrators stand amid smoke of teargas canisters launched by anti-riot police in a street heading to the Arena of Nimes in background during an anti-government demonstrations. The Vests have been joined by extremists from the far Right and the ultra-Left, as well as anarchists intent on causing as much damage as possible

A car ban was established on the famous avenue. Saturday's actions came on a ninth weekend of yellow vest demonstrations to denounce President Emmanuel Macron's economic policies that protesters consider as favoring the rich

A car ban was established on the famous avenue. Saturday's actions came on a ninth weekend of yellow vest demonstrations to denounce President Emmanuel Macron's economic policies that protesters consider as favoring the rich

A car ban was established on the famous avenue. Saturday’s actions came on a ninth weekend of yellow vest demonstrations to denounce President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies that protesters consider as favoring the rich

The ugly scenes came on the 9th Saturday in a row of violence that now routinely reduces the capital city to a war zone, as on demonstrator clad in a Panda suit was battered to the ground and carried away in distress

The ugly scenes came on the 9th Saturday in a row of violence that now routinely reduces the capital city to a war zone, as on demonstrator clad in a Panda suit was battered to the ground and carried away in distress

The ugly scenes came on the 9th Saturday in a row of violence that now routinely reduces the capital city to a war zone, as on demonstrator clad in a Panda suit was battered to the ground and carried away in distress

An injured protester from the 'Gilets Jaunes' (Yellow Vests) is seen on Place de l'Etoile, near the Arc de Triomphe

An injured protester from the 'Gilets Jaunes' (Yellow Vests) is seen on Place de l'Etoile, near the Arc de Triomphe

An injured protester from the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (Yellow Vests) is seen on Place de l’Etoile, near the Arc de Triomphe

A French police officer holds a non-lethal hand-held weapon (LBD40) as large parts of the Champs had been blocked off using armoured cares and water cannons, but the Yellow Vests - who are named after their high visibility motoring jackets - still appeared in large numbers

A French police officer holds a non-lethal hand-held weapon (LBD40) as large parts of the Champs had been blocked off using armoured cares and water cannons, but the Yellow Vests - who are named after their high visibility motoring jackets - still appeared in large numbers

A French police officer holds a non-lethal hand-held weapon (LBD40) as large parts of the Champs had been blocked off using armoured cares and water cannons, but the Yellow Vests – who are named after their high visibility motoring jackets – still appeared in large numbers

The Vests have been protesting since November 17 and, despite a range of concessions by President Macron including scrapping green taxes of diesel and petrol, continue to call for him to step down. High-end shops including luxury fashion boutiques were boarded up in Paris, along with banks and post offices

The Vests have been protesting since November 17 and, despite a range of concessions by President Macron including scrapping green taxes of diesel and petrol, continue to call for him to step down. High-end shops including luxury fashion boutiques were boarded up in Paris, along with banks and post offices

The Vests have been protesting since November 17 and, despite a range of concessions by President Macron including scrapping green taxes of diesel and petrol, continue to call for him to step down. High-end shops including luxury fashion boutiques were boarded up in Paris, along with banks and post offices

‘Macron Resign’, the crowd chanted, as they called for President Emmanuel Macron to resign, throwing bottles and any other missiles they could find.

Within minutes huge white clouds of tear gas were smothering the area, covering rioters, as well as Saturday afternoon shoppers.

By 3pm there had been 42 arrests in the Paris areas, many of them of suspected rioters carrying potential weapons.

Large parts of the Champs had been blocked off using armoured cares and water cannons, but the Yellow Vests – who are named after their high visibility motoring jackets – still appeared in large numbers.

There were similar demonstrations other French cities and towns, as 80000 police and gendarmes were mobilised nationwide. Yellow vest protesters demonstrate peacefully in downtown Marseille, southern France

There were similar demonstrations other French cities and towns, as 80000 police and gendarmes were mobilised nationwide. Yellow vest protesters demonstrate peacefully in downtown Marseille, southern France

There were similar demonstrations other French cities and towns, as 80000 police and gendarmes were mobilised nationwide. Yellow vest protesters demonstrate peacefully in downtown Marseille, southern France

Masked demonstrators gesture amid smoke of teargas canisters launched by anti-riot police in a street heading to the Arena of Nimes

Masked demonstrators gesture amid smoke of teargas canisters launched by anti-riot police in a street heading to the Arena of Nimes

Masked demonstrators gesture amid smoke of teargas canisters launched by anti-riot police in a street heading to the Arena of Nimes

By 3pm there had been 42 arrests in the Paris areas, many of them of suspected rioters carrying potential weapons. Large parts of the Champs had been blocked off using armoured cares and water cannons, but the Yellow Vests - who are named after their high visibility motoring jackets - still appeared in large numbers

By 3pm there had been 42 arrests in the Paris areas, many of them of suspected rioters carrying potential weapons. Large parts of the Champs had been blocked off using armoured cares and water cannons, but the Yellow Vests - who are named after their high visibility motoring jackets - still appeared in large numbers

By 3pm there had been 42 arrests in the Paris areas, many of them of suspected rioters carrying potential weapons. Large parts of the Champs had been blocked off using armoured cares and water cannons, but the Yellow Vests – who are named after their high visibility motoring jackets – still appeared in large numbers

The independent Mr Macron, leader of the Republic On The Move party, won the French presidential election in a landslide in 2017, but he is now dubbed the 'President of the Rich' with polls showing his popularity rating down to just 18 per cent

The independent Mr Macron, leader of the Republic On The Move party, won the French presidential election in a landslide in 2017, but he is now dubbed the 'President of the Rich' with polls showing his popularity rating down to just 18 per cent

The independent Mr Macron, leader of the Republic On The Move party, won the French presidential election in a landslide in 2017, but he is now dubbed the ‘President of the Rich’ with polls showing his popularity rating down to just 18 per cent

The world famous Arc de Triomphe was severely vandalised and had graffiti sprayed all over it in December, causing a national outcry.

Mr Macron has since pledged that any attempt to damage it will be treated with the ‘most severe action possible.’

There were similar demonstrations other French cities and towns, as 80000 police and gendarmes were mobilised nationwide.

The Vests have been protesting since November 17 and, despite a range of concessions by President Macron including scrapping green taxes of diesel and petrol, continue to call for him to step down.

High-end shops including luxury fashion boutiques were boarded up in Paris, along with banks and post offices.

The Vests have been joined by extremists from the far Right and the ultra-Left, as well as anarchists intent on causing as much damage as possible.

Crisis-ridden Mr Macron has not only climbed down on imposing green surcharges, but increased the national minimum wage by seven per sent, and scrapped tax on bonuses.

But the Yellow Vests said their protests would continue indefinitely as they campaign for even more concessions.

The independent Mr Macron, leader of the Republic On The Move party, won the French presidential election in a landslide in 2017, but he is now dubbed the ‘President of the Rich’ with polls showing his popularity rating down to just 18 per cent.

 

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