British tourists were caught up in violence on the Champs Elysee yesterday, when a huge crowd gathered to call for President Emmanuel Macron to quit
Water cannons and rounds of teargas were used by riot cops against thousands of French “Yellow Vest” fuel protesters today as the Champs Elysee was reduced to a battlefield.
The worst violence took place on the most famous avenue in the city where a huge crowd called for President Emmanuel Macron to resign.
The unrest has erupted over spiking fuel prices in the country and is pilling pressure on the government.
A police officer at the scene said: “They included hooded demonstrators who were determined to cause trouble.
“We’ve been forced to deploy a water cannon and use tear gas to stop them getting to a secure zone.
“They’re breaking up traffic obstacles to create missiles to throw at us. It’s getting very violent.”
The zone included the Elysee Palace – Mr Macron’s official home – and the Place de la Concorde, opposite the National Assembly, France’s parliament.
The Yellow Vests – gilets jaunes in French – are named after the high visibility jackets they wear.
They have been conducting a grassroots campaign against escalating petrol and diesel prices.
Senior French ministers have slammed the ‘radicalisation’ and ‘anarchy’ involved, claiming far-Right and hard-Left elements have hijacked the protests.
Two road deaths have been linked with the protests so far – both at illegal road blocks set up by the Yellow Vests.
There have also been 553 woundings, 17 of them serious.
More than 95 police have been hurt in a variety of disturbances, including an attempt to storm the Elysee Palace last weekend.