French yellow vest protests staged amid enhanced security

Authorities banned protests Saturday from the capital’s Champs-Elysees avenue

The French government vowed to strengthen security as yellow vest protesters stage a 19th round of demonstrations, in an effort to avoid a repeat of last week’s riots in Paris.

Authorities banned protests Saturday from the capital’s Champs-Elysees avenue and central areas of several cities including Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille and Nice in the south, and Rouen in western France.

In Paris, some yellow vests protesters were gathering Saturday morning on Trocadero plaza, next to the Eiffel Tower. Others issued calls for a demonstration from the Denfert-Rochereau plaza, in southern Paris, to tourist hotspot Montmartre in the north.

The new Paris police chief, Didier Lallement, who took charge following last week’s protests, said specific police units have been created to react faster to any violence.

About 6,000 police officers are deployed in the capital and two drones are helping to monitor the demonstrations.

Authorities also deployed soldiers to protect sensitive sites and allow police forces to focus on maintaining order during the protests.

President Emmanuel Macron on Friday dismissed criticism from opposition leaders regarding the involvement of the military.

READ MORE: French yellow vests protest for 16th straight weekend

“Those trying to scare people, or to scare themselves, are wrong,” he said in Brussels.

The French government announced new security measures this week and replaced the Paris police chief with Lallement following riots on the Champs-Elysees that left luxury stores ransacked and charred from arson fires.

Last week’s surge in violence came as the 4-month-old anti-government movement has been dwindling.

The protests started in November to oppose fuel tax hikes but have expanded into a broader rejection of Macron’s economic policies, which protesters say favour businesses and the wealthy over ordinary French workers.

The yellow vest movement was named after the fluorescent garments that French motorists must carry in their vehicles for emergencies.

Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Pirko found guilty in the 2014 second-degree murder of Chris Ausman

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

Grievance dismissed: Kelowna bus driver loses case after texting on job

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

UPDATE: Dog bitten by rattlesnake in West Kelowna “going to be OK”

The dog, Bella, is recovering after being bitten on a hike at Rose Valley Trails

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sun and heat continue Saturday

Environment Canada forecasts highs of 30 C throughout the Okanagan Saturday

Kootnekoff: “Sorry, can’t help you.” Privacy as an excuse

How many times have you heard it? You ask for critical information… Continue reading

VIDEO: Horseback riding helps North Okanagan residents with special needs

North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association needs more volunteers to continue offering sessions

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Teen stabbed after end-of-night limo dispute in downtown Vancouver

A young man, 19, is in serious condition following a dispute between two groups

Letter: Homeless need more than handouts

To the editor: Re: Solutions to homelessness I firmly believe that automation,… Continue reading

Letter: Drug addicts taking over downtown

To the editor: In regards to the current state of the City… Continue reading

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody 6 months after release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

Most Read