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  • A couple protect themselves from French CRS riot police during clashes with protesters on the Champs Elysees avenue after the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris.

    A couple protect themselves from French CRS riot police during clashes with protesters on the Champs Elysees avenue after the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 July 2019
Opinion

Paris authorities had banned ‘Yellow Vest’ demonstrations near the parade in the Champs Elysees avenue.

At least 152 ‘Yellow Vest’ protestors have been arrested by French police Sunday in Paris, as security forces cracked down on manifestations during the traditional Bastille Day celebrations.

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According to French authorities, the detainees are accused of "organization of an undeclared demonstration," "violence against those responsible for public order," and "destruction of public property."

Paris authorities had banned ‘Yellow Vest’ demonstrations near the military parade on the Champs Elysees avenue, from where President Emmanuel Macron, alongside other European leaders, witnessed the ceremony.

But as soon as the parade finished, according to police, a few hundred protesters tried to occupy the famous avenue, which in turn led to a confrontation between both sides. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters, as they tried to block the road with metal barricades, dustbins, and other debris.

Among those arrested are Maxime Nicolle and Jerome Rodrigues, two key figures in the ‘Yellow Vest’ movement. 

Although, Nicolle’s attorney stated on Twitter that his client was arrested earlier during the day by 15 policemen while walking "outside the Champs Elysees and the forbidden area," adding that he is in jail for “expressing his beliefs.”

Sunday’s protest marks the 35th consecutive week the grassroots movement has taken to the streets to demand a change in France’s socioeconomic political agenda, as well as improvement for social conditions. 

On Saturday, when they also took to the capital’s streets, they denounced the increase in police repression, demanded the release of fellow detainees, and called for Sunday’s demonstrations during Bastille Day, which commemorates July 14, 1789, when the French Revolution started after the fortress-prison of the Bastille was taken.

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