Clashes erupted this Saturday 16th March, 2019 at the beginning of act 18 of the movement of “yellow vests” in Paris. Shops were looted on Avenue des Champs-Elysees.
Boutiques looted on the Champs-Elysees, throwing cobblestones on the police, barricades on fire: for its act 18, the mobilization of yellow vests was marked by renewed violence in Paris, where more than forty people have been arrested.
Pavé, stones … Destroyed windows
Four months after the beginning of the movement and at the end of the great national debate, the day was presented as an “ultimatum” to President Macron.
Around the Place de l’Etoile, towards which 7000 to 8000 demonstrators had converged, the tension quickly rose from 11am
— Thibault Izoret (@TIM_7375) March 16, 2019
Protesters, many dressed in black, with hoods or helmets on their heads, threw stones and stones at the security forces, who responded by firing tear gas. On the Champs-Elysees, thugs destroyed shop windows, including that of the brewery Le Fouquet’s, and looted shops.
“Damn it’s good, there’s world and action”
Scenes of urban riots that had not been seen since the demonstrations in early December, whose images had travelled around the world.
“Damn it’s good, there’s a lot of people and action, it’s like December. They thought we tamed but we are indomitable. The yellow vests will not let go, they must understand it, “said a masked protester in AFP .
“Mechanised and masked professionals in the mess and disorder have infiltrated the processions,” denounced the interior minister Christophe Castaner, who promised “the greatest firmness”.
#ActeXVIII Violences aveugles, attaques lâches, notre détermination à garantir l’ordre public ne faiblira pas face aux black blocs, provocateurs et vandales dont le degré d’hostilité est insupportable. #Soutien aux gendarmes et policiers engagés. pic.twitter.com/BLpmK6hg52
— Gendarmerie nationale (@Gendarmerie) March 16, 2019
Les @PompiersParis et nos forces de l’ordre viennent de procéder à l’évacuation de tous les habitants d’un immeuble, délibérément incendié.
Le feu est maîtrisé.
Les individus qui ont commis cet acte ne sont ni des manifestants, ni des casseurs : ce sont des assassins. pic.twitter.com/mh0BgZACzf
— Christophe Castaner (@CCastaner) March 16, 2019
11 minor injuries in a fire
A major fire broke out in a building late in the morning, Roosevelt Boulevard, near the Champs-Elysees, causing 11 minor injuries, reports franceinfo . A woman and her baby were saved from the flames as they were stuck on the second floor of the building, above a bank branch.
According to witnesses, the fire was of criminal origin.
44 people arrested at noon
Forty-four people were arrested, according to a report released at 12:30 pm by the Paris police headquarters.
Hoping for a “renewed mobilisation”, the date has been announced for several weeks as a crucial day, and this while the number of protesters has been steadily declining in recent weeks.
According to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, constantly challenged by the “yellow vests”, they were 28,600 protesters in France for Act 17, ten times less than the 282,000 of November 17 during the inaugural act movement.