Over 150 arrested as “Yellow Vests” renew actions in Paris

More than 150 people were arrested on Saturday after hundreds of “Yellow Vest” protesters took to streets in the center of Paris to oppose President Emmanuel Macron’s fiscal, economic and social policies.

Paris police department said 154 individuals had been detained by 13:00 p.m. local time (1100 GMT) in the capital for holding screwdriver, ice ax, cutting pliers and knives.

According to local reports, up to 5,000 protesters are expected to gather in the capital, including 1,000 members of the far-left anarchist group known as the “black blocs.”

On Feb. 29, the French government decided to ban all public gatherings with more than 5,000 people due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The ban has been extended to Oct. 30.

In a bid to avoid the chaos in the capital, which had turned into battle field in previous “Yellow Vest” action, police prefect Didier Lallemant banned two demonstrations in the capital’s main avenue, and ordered demonstrators not to gather near the Elysee Palace, the National Assembly and the prime minister’s office.

“Demonstrations are possible provided that they take place peacefully, that there is no destruction,” said Lallement, calling for respect for barrier gestures.

Other protests are also planned in Marseille, Toulouse, Lyon, Lille, Nantes, Nice, Bordeaux and Strasbourg.

The “Yellow Vest” movement, a nationwide protest against weak economic performance and stagnant income increase, started as a campaign against surge in fuel prices in November 2018.