Barricades & tear gas: 150+ arrested amid Bastille Day celebrations
14 Jul, 2019
Riot police and anti-government protesters faced off during Bastille Day celebrations in Paris. Dozens of people were arrested, with calls for president Emmanuel Macron to resign again being chanted out loud.
An increasing number of demonstrators flocked to the Champs Elysees avenue around midday on Sunday, setting objects alight and trying to block the iconic street with metal barricades, dustbins and other debris.
Protesters also hurled rocks and bottles at the riot-police present, who responded with tear gas. Several people were injured, reports say, without specifying numbers.
‘Yellow vests’ protesters, whose rally had earlier been banned by authorities, were also seen in the midst of the turmoil.
The movements’s leaders Maxim Nicholas, Eric Drue and Jerome Rodriguez were said to have been detained. All in all, more than 150 people were arrested, police prefecture announced.
The heated Sunday protest came amid the symbolic Bastille Day national celebrations, marking the 230th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison during the French Revolution and the fall of the monarchy.
The mood had already become tense in the morning, with Emmanuel Macron being booed as he headed a massive military parade in central Paris, with numerous people chanting ‘Macron, step down!’ in French.
Since November 2018, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters, dubbed ‘yellow vests,’ have demonstrated in Paris and elsewhere in France every weekend to vent their anger at the government and its policies on many issues, ranging from taxes on fuel to income inequality.