Protesters wearing yellow vests attend a demonstration of the "yellow vests" movement in Angers, France - REUTERS
PARIS (Reuters) - Clashes broke out throughout France on Saturday, as an estimated 84,000 “yellow vests” demonstrators took to the streets in a 10th consecutive weekend of protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s government.
The demonstrations passed off relatively peacefully in Paris where 7,000 turned up, although Reuters Television reporters saw scuffles briefly break out between police and demonstrators, some wearing masks, in the capital’s Invalides district.
Protesters threw firecrackers, bottles and stones at police who responded with water cannon and tear gas to push them back.
“Macron, resign!” some of the protesters shouted.
The “yellow vests” protests - named after the fluorescent jackets French motorists are required to carry in their cars - began in November over plans to raise fuel taxes. The number of demonstrators on Saturday was roughly the same as last week.
The fuel tax hikes were subsequently scrapped, yet the movement has morphed into a broader protest against Macron’s government and general anger over taxes and the cost of living.
In Paris, some demonstrators carried mock coffins symbolising the 10 people who have died during the protests, mainly due to accidents when demonstrators blocked roads.
December’s demonstrations saw some of the worst violence in decades in Paris, as rioters burned cars and vandalised shops.
Protests in Paris this month have not seen the same level of trouble, although video of a former French boxing champion punching and kicking police in Paris shocked many.
Despite a relative decline in crowd trouble in Paris, however, disturbances have flared up in other cities.
According to official figures, the biggest demonstration on Saturday occurred in the southern city of Toulouse, where around 10,000 people took part. The demonstration turned violent as evening fell, as protesters vandalised a bank and other shops. Eight people were injured and there were 23 arrests.