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Riot cops move in as Paris descends into 'war zone' amid Yellow Vest chaos

Yesterday marked the fifth week of violence to hit France.

Yellow Vest protesters marched through Paris and other cities in protest of President Emmanuel Macron, whose government this week hardened its stance against them.

According to the Daily Star, the street protests began peacefully in the French capital but degenerated later in the afternoon as protesters hurled missiles at riot police barricading bridges over the Seine river and torched cars.

Officers fired tear gas to prevent hundreds of demonstrators crossing the river and reaching the National Assembly.

One riverboat restaurant was set ablaze and a policeman wounded when he was struck by a bicycle hurled from a street above the riverbank.

The “Yellow Vest” protests are named after the garments that drivers have to carry in their cars by law in France in case of emergency.

They have been concentrated on Saturdays, after first erupting on November 17 following a campaign spread on social media.

Two months after they started the demonstrations in Paris, the yellow vests sought to inject new momentum into a movement that weakened over the holidays.

Macron is taking a more hardline approach and has branded the remaining protesters as agitators seeking to overthrow the government.

Police on Wednesday night arrested one of the movement’s prominent figures.

There were also skirmishes between police and protesters in the northern port city of Caen. Thousands more rallied in Bordeaux in the southwest, Rouen in the north and Marseille in the southeast.

Driven by anger over a perceived squeeze on household income, the movement has shaken Macron’s presidency and hurt retailers and other businesses after the spontaneous protest against fuel taxes gave way to riots in early December.

Yellow vest protests have spread out from France into other countries like Holland and now the UK.

The movement has become a protest against the establishment and the decline in living standards.
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