Protesters scuffle with police as “yellow vests” march across Paris

PARIS, FRANCE (FEBRUARY 9, 2019) (REUTERS) – Thousands of French “yellow vest” demonstrators marched on Saturday (February 9) for their 13th weekend of action, with some scuffles in Paris and a demonstrator hurt by a small explosive.

The “yellow vest” demonstrators, named for high-visibility car jackets, began in mid-November over fuel taxes then broadened into a more general revolt against a political class they view as out of touch with common people.

In Paris, several thousand marched on Saturday beside symbols of power such as the National Assembly and Senate.

Though mainly peaceful, some protesters threw objects at police, a scooter and a police van were set on fire, and some shop windows were smashed.

One participant’s hand was injured when he tried to pick up a so-called “sting-ball grenade” used by police to disperse crowds with teargas, a police source said. Another man had blood streaming down his face in front of a police line.

The Interior Ministry put the total number of protesters around France at 12,000, including 4,000 in Paris. The police source, however, said numbers were higher, with 21,000 demonstrators taking part in rallies outside Paris.

Leaders of the “yellow vest” movement have denounced the police for injuring protesters, but have also struggled to contain violence from their own lines.

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