Date
21 October 2019
French riot police run on the Champs Elysees avenue during clashes with protesters after the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris on Sunday. Photo: Reuters
French riot police run on the Champs Elysees avenue during clashes with protesters after the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

Police fire tear gas in Paris amid Bastille Day protests

Police in Paris fired tear gas to disperse protesters from the Champs Elysees avenue on Sunday, a few hours after French President Emmanuel Macron reviewed the traditional Bastille Day military parade, Reuters reports.

The famous boulevard was reopened to traffic as soon as the parade finished, but a few hundred protesters from the grassroots ‘yellow vests’ movement tried to occupy it.

Macron and his guests had already left for the Elysees presidential palace for lunch.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, some hooded, who were trying to block the road with metal barricades, dustbins and other debris, the report said.

Several loud bangs were heard. Protesters hurled objects at the police, booed and set bins on fire.

Police drove some of the demonstrators to adjacent streets where they regrouped and set up new barricades, drawing more tear gas fire.

Paris Police chief Didier Lallement told journalists during a Sunday evening patrol of the boulevard that order had been restored.

He said some 200 rioters had tried to occupy the Champs Elysees but had been pushed out.

Paris authorities had banned ‘yellow vest’ demonstrations near the parade but several groups linked to the movement had called for gatherings around the Champs Elysees on Bastille Day, a national holiday in France.

Earlier a French police source and a court source said 152 people — whom they linked to the ‘yellow vests’ — had been detained near the Champs Elysees as they tried to stage a protest.

The number of ‘yellow vest’ protesters has dwindled to a few hundred recently from a high of around 300,000 nationwide in November when demonstrations started against fuel price hikes and later morphed into a general discontent against Macron’s policies and government.

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