The streets of Paris have been set ablaze during ‘yellow vests’ protests in Paris this evening leaving the Eiffel Tower shrouded in thick black smoke, after riot police fired tear gas at crowds earlier today.
Protesters have set cars alight and left them to burn in the streets of the capital city, as a demonstration against the French government’s tax policies resumed for the seventh consecutive week.
Shocking images show the iconic tower masked by a covering of smoke and cars engulfed by burning flames sit abandoned on the roadside as demonstrators continued their stand off with authorities.
The streets of Paris have been set ablaze during ‘yellow vests’ protests in Paris this evening leaving the Eiffel Tower shrouded in thick black smoke, after riot police fired tear gas at crowds earlier today
Protesters have set cars alight and left them to burn in the streets of the capital city, as protests against the French government’s tax policies resumed for the seventh consecutive week
Earlier today yellow vest demonstrators clashed with riot police who fired tear gas at crowds in Paris today after demonstrators from the grassroots movement turned out this weekend to resume their stand off with authorities.
But the turnout for round seven of the popular protests that have rocked France appeared low.
Despite it being the seventh weekend of protests, momentum for the movement appears to be waning as only small groups took to the streets in Paris and elsewhere in France.
Shocking images show the iconic tower masked by a covering of smoke and cars engulfed by burning flames sit abandoned on the roadside as demonstrators continued their stand off with authorities
Cars were left to burn in the streets of Paris following a day of high tension between the yellow vests and authorities
Several hundred people wearing the symbolic hi-visibility vests had gathered near the offices of France Televisions and the BFM TV channel in the centre of the capital shouting ‘Fake news’ and calling for the resignation of President Emmanuel Macron.
Protesters spilled on to tram lines and lobbed projectiles at police who replied with tear gas grenades and detained several people.
Tear gas was also fired in Nantes, western France, and protests were expected in Lyon, Bordeaux and Toulouse.
Yellow vest demonstrators clashed with riot police who fired tear gas at crowds who set fire to barricades in Toulouse, southern France, today
French police clash with protesters during a yellow vest demonstration in Toulouse, southern France
French gendarmes stand in a cloud of tear gas during a demonstration of yellow vests (gilets jaunes) protesters in downtown Nantes, western France, today
A protestor wearing a yellow vest and a gas mask tries to kick a French riot police officer during a demonstration against the rising costs of living, in downtown Nantes, western France
Protesters clash with police officers during demonstration called by the yellow vests in downtown Nantes today
Protesters run away from a burning Christmas tree in Paris as the seventh consecutive weekend of riots began today
Clashes: Gendarmes spray tear gas at protesters on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris today
A protestor runs next to burning trash during a yellow vest anti-government demonstration in Nantes, western France
In the southern city of Marseille, police said 900 protesters turned out, amid cries of ‘Macron out’.
The official turnout numbers have plunged with the passing weeks. The government recorded 38,600 demonstrators on December 22 compared to 282,000 for the first major demonstrations on November 17.
But leading figures within the movement that has flourished outside of trade union and political groups, say the low numbers are due to the holiday season and January will bring a resurgence of the street protests.
The focus of the protests has morphed from anger over fuel taxes to a broad rebuke of Macron, accused by critics of neglecting the rising costs of living for many in rural and small-town France.
Priscillia Ludosky, who launched the yellow vest petition against fuel price hikes, said: ‘We want to get our purchasing power back and have a say in the decisions.’
Protesters walk up stairs as tear gas is fired near the Passy area in Paris as blue flares stream down the steps
Gendarmes detain a man on the Trocadero esplanade in Paris as demonstrators clashed with police across the city
Demonstrators wearing their yellow vests demonstrate during in Marseille, southern France
French police officers arrest a man in central Paris where tear gas was used on crowds during the seventh weekend if clashes
French riot police officers detain protesters and scuffle with them on the ground in downtown Nantes, western France
Protesters scuffle with gendarmes on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris
A protester walks in a cloud of tear gas as white and blue smoke swarms around him in the background
Protesters run away as police launch tear gas canisters in Nantes today, as tensions flare in the city as well as the capital
Government tax concessions to boost disposable income among the low paid ‘are not enough’, Ludosky said in Marseille.
Hundreds of demonstrators, some chanting ‘Journalists – Collaborationists!’ traced a path around Paris visiting the central offices of television networks BFM and state-run France Televisions and announced plans to march to other broadcasters.
Some members of the broad-based yellow vest movement accuse leading media of favoring President Emmanuel Macron’s government and big business and minimizing the protests – even though they’ve been the leading news story in France since they kicked off November 17 out of anger at fuel tax hikes.
The movement has increasingly targeted Macron and 40 ‘yellow vests’ on Thursday tried to storm the medieval fort of Bregancon that serves as his official summer retreat on the Mediterranean before being turned back by police.
Die-hard yellow vest supporters believe the movement will live on in 2019 and plans are underway for New Year’s Eve protests.
Nearly 8,000 people are listed on Facebook as intending to attend, insisting it will be ‘festive and non-violent’.
A few dozen gathered today on the elegant Champs-Elysees, the scene of rioting and violence between demonstrators and riot police earlier this month.
A protester throws a projectile during a yellow vest (gilets jaunes) anti-government demonstration today in Nantes, western France
Protesters standing in a cloud of tear gas and wearing masks in Nantes today
A demonstrator holds a placard reading RIC, the acronym for ‘Citizens initiated Referendum’ during a demonstration in Nantes
Protesters sit in the street on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris today
Protesters push through a gendarmes road block on the Bir-Hakeim bridge as clashes with police break out around Paris
Protesters wearing yellow vests face down French anti-riot police officers during a demonstration against high taxes in Paris
People wearing yellow vests climb a wall as they take part in a demonstration called by the yellow vests movement, to protest against the rising costs of living they blame on high taxes, in Paris today
Tear gas, a water cannon and baton charges were used by riot police around the capital during earlier marches.
At its peak at the start of December 89,000 riot police with 750 arrests in one weekend in the capital alone.
Around 126,000 ‘yellow vests’ – named after the fluorescent jackets they wear – were counted by the Interior Ministry during the biggest demonstrations.
This weekend police have been watching carefully, but both police and protesters appeared to be out in much smaller numbers than previous weekends.
The demonstrations have targeted French President Emmanuel Macron, who ceded to several of their demands for tax relief and other economic help.
However many people remain frustrated with his pro-business leadership and are continuing to stage roadblocks at roundabouts around the country.
Yellow vest protesters clash with riot police armed with shields and batons as demonstrations in Paris resume for a seventh weekend
Anti-government demonstrators set fire to garbage bins and other items in the center of a street during a protest in the western French city of Bordeaux
Protesters push through a gendarmes road block on the Bir-Hakeim bridge in Paris
Crowds wearing yellow vests and holding banners, took part in a demonstration against the rising costs of living they blame on high taxes, in Paris today
A yellow vest anti-government demonstrator gestures towards French police in the northern French city of Lille today
Mounted police patrol on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris
Protesters in Paris stand in front of police officers during a demonstration against the rising costs of living they blame on high taxes
The movement began November 17 as a protest over fuel taxes and is named after the fluorescent protective gear French motorists must keep in their cars.
Paris officials said preparations would continue for a fireworks display and sound and light show on the Champs-Elysee, the epicentre of repeated violent action against the government, with the Arc de Triomphe ransacked on December 1.
Tens of thousands of tourists and locals traditionally ring in the new year on the wide shopping boulevard, which rises to the Arc monument.
Yesterday a mob of yellow vest protesters tried to storm the holiday home of President Emmanuel Macron.
Around 50 members of the anti-government movement arrived at the medieval fort of Bregancon, on the Riviera coast near Toulon on Thursday, and remained close by on Friday.
A protester argues with a police officer in Paris today. The movement in France originally started as a protest about planned fuel hikes but has morphed into a mass protest against President Macron’s policies and style of governing