Paris is recovering again today after the 18th weekend of protests saw 10,000 Yellow Vests surge to the French capital before luxury stores, restaurants and a bank were looted and torched.
A mass cleanup began this morning after luxury shops and restaurants on the Champs Elysee, including Boss menswear and the handbag store Longchamp were destroyed by protesters.
Fouquets, a restaurant frequented by politicians and celebrities, was also targeted.
The gilets jaunes, otherwise known as yellow vests, returned to the streets of Paris yesterday to continue their four-month long protest which began as a campaign against President Emmanuel Macron’s fuel tax but morphed into violent riots against elitism.
A mass cleanup began this morning after shops, including Boss menswear and luxury handbag store Longchamp, as well as Fouquets, a restaurant frequented by politicians and celebrities, were destroyed by protesters.
A bank underneath a block of apartments was set alight during the riots. Two fire fighters are among 11 people being treated for minor injuries
Protesters were seen vandalising and later setting fire to Fouquet’s brasserie, a favourite hangout of the rich and famous for the past century – as well as luxury handbag store Longchamp, a bank, another restaurant and several news stands
More than 10,000 people descended on the streets of the capital resulting in clashes with police, the bank below an apartment block being set alight and the destruction of luxury shops.
Some 1,400 police officers were mobilised and 120 arrests made to try to stem the violence.
Meanwhile 32,300 people took park in a peaceful protest against climate change in the city.
The French president was forced to cut short a skiing trip in the Pyrenees to return to Paris for a crisis meeting.
Clean up teams are now attempting to repair and restore the shops that were covered in graffiti, smashed and looted
Business owners returned to their shops and restaurants this morning to inspect the damage and begin repairs
Businesses on the famed Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris were destroyed on the 18th weekend of French protests.
Macron is now due to hold an emergency meeting at the interior ministry, his office said.
Protesters were seen vandalising and later setting fire to Fouquet’s brasserie, a favourite hangout of the rich and famous for the past century – as well as luxury handbag store Longchamp, a bank, another restaurant and several news stands.
Some luxury stores were completed destroyed during the violent protest as shops were smashed, looted and burned down
Other store’s were not so badly damaged and opened to the public this morning despite a few smashed windows
‘Like the vast majority of French people, I feel very angry today,’ tweeted French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who visited the scene.
‘Today’s actions are not the work of protesters, but of looters, arsonists and criminals. No cause justifies this violence,’ he added.
In a statement, the national police denounced the ‘mindless violence, cowardly attacks’ and stressed their determination to guarantee public order against ‘provocateurs and vandals’.
Famed French brasserie restaurant Fouquet’s burns on the Champs Elysees avenue during a yellow vests demonstration Saturday, March 16. President Nicolas Sarkozy celebrated his 2007 electoral victory there
A Yellow Vest protester throws a European flag onto a burning pile of chairs on the 18th consecutive Saturday of demonstrations by the protest movement
A masked man holds up a sign (foreground) that reads ‘Macron mutilates the Nation; Police and Media corps don’t become his accomplice’ at a march in Bordeaux, western France
Violence erupted in Paris today as Yellow Vest protesters calling for French President Emmanuel Macron to resign took to the streets for the eighteenth Saturday in a row
Protestors have vandalised many of the cars and restaurant furniture left in the street, including this motorcycle and a forklift truck down a street in central Paris
According to a French consumer group, the five weekends of protests are predicted to have cost the consumer economy €2 billion. Source: National Centre of Shopping Malls (CNCC)
Firefighters look for evidence in the charred remains of a newsagent set alight during clashes with riot police forces
The nationwide protests are against the President Macron’s ‘top-down’ style of governing, the high cost of living, government tax reforms as they demand more ‘social and economic justice’
Violence erupted as the protesters called for the French president to resign.
Teargas and baton charged were used by riot police on a so-called ‘Act XVIII’ Day of Rage organised by the Yellow Vest movement.
Fighting broke out on the Champs Elysee, the most famous avenue in the French capital, by 11am, when there had already been 25 arrests.
‘Gangs are targeting police, and carrying out numerous acts of vandalism,’ said an officer at the scene.
‘Fires are being lit, including in cars. Thousands are arriving all over the city, and we are already extremely stretched.’
Protests were not just organised by the Yellow Vests – who are named after their high visibility motoring jackets – but by climate change protesters.
A group of Yellow Vests pull down a sheet-metal shop window protection fence which is later seen smashed into. Dozens of shops on the Champs-Elysees have boarded their fronts to limit damage
Protesters are pictured in front of the iconic Arc De Triomphe on the Champs Elysees as a fire burns in front of them. The protests were also organised by climate change protesters
A fireman tries to put out the flames at the burning luxury store Longchamps on the Champs Elysees during the demonstration
One protester is even pictured on top of the burning debris as it is engulfed by flames. Tear gas was deployed by riot police on a so-called ‘Act XVIII’ Day of Rage organised by the Yellow Vest movement
A woman stands on broken glass to take a quick picture of the wrecked shopfront of a Hugo Boss store, where most of the clothes appear to have been stolen
Security forces intervene with tear gas during a demonstration on avenue Champs Elysees in Paris
Protesters are pictured setting up a barricade against the teargas during the 18th yellow vest demonstration, so-called ‘Act XVIII’
Another barricade built by Yellow vests protesters during the demonstrations in Paris today
Fighting broke out on the Champs Elysee, the most famous avenue in the French capital, by 11am, when there had already been 25 arrests
The protesters were attempting to march on the Elysee Palace, Mr Macron’s official home, but were held back by barriers and rows of police
Yellow vests, or Gilets jaunes, protesters stage a demonstration on a lamppost on avenue Champs Elysees
A yellow vests protester lies on the ground after getting injured by security forces during a demonstration on avenue Champs Elysees
A protester wearing a yellow vest walks in front of demolished metal fencing during a demonstration by the ‘yellow vests’ movement in Paris today
Yellow vests protesters setup a barricade using fire during by avenue Champs Elysees in Paris today
The remnants of a bike is ablaze as part of the demonstrations. A lone shoe is forgotten in the heat of the protests
All were attempting to march on the Elysee Palace, Mr Macron’s official home, but were held back by barriers and rows of police.
Around 12 members of the Yellow Vest movement have died at blockades organised at major roads around France, while hundreds of others have been injured in rioting.
The Vests have been protesting since November 17 last year and, despite a range of concessions by President Macron including scrapping green taxes of diesel and petrol, continue to call for him to step down.
A police officer at the scene told MailOnline: ‘Fires are being lit, including in cars. Thousands are arriving all over the city, and we are already extremely stretched’
An injured protester pictured during clashes with riot forces on the Champs-Elysees today. Around 12 members of the Yellow Vest movement have died at blockades organised at major roads around France, while hundreds of others have been injured in rioting
Yellow vests protesters break the rocks on sidewalks during the demonstrations
Many have been arrested, including some 700 who were held in custody on a single day in Paris last December.
High-end shops including luxury fashion boutiques were today boarded up in Paris, along with banks and post offices.
This follows major acts of vandalism, including the Arc de Triomphe itself being attacked.
A protester gestured wildly in front of a newsagent which had been set alight
Exclusive restaurant Le Fouquet, popular with politicians and celebrities was also vandalised
Mounted police, water cannons, and 14 armoured vehicles capable of spreading high-intensity gas were today all on standby as part of the security operation.
They have failed to prevent widespread disorder over the past few weekends, with the worst violence normally coming at nightfall.
The Vests have been joined by extremists from the far Right and the ultra-Left, as well as anarchists intent on causing as much damage as possible.
Crisis-ridden Mr Macron has not only climbed down on imposing green surcharges, but increased the national minimum wage by seven per sent, and scrapped tax on bonuses.
But the Yellow Vests said their protests would continue indefinitely as they campaign for even more concessions.
The independent Mr Macron, leader of the Republic On The Move party, won the French presidential election in a landslide in 2017, but he is now dubbed the ‘President of the Rich’.
Crisis-ridden Mr Macron has not only climbed down on imposing green surcharges, but increased the national minimum wage by seven per sent, and scrapped tax on bonuses
High-end shops including luxury fashion boutiques were today boarded up in Paris, along with banks and post offices. Yet that didn’t stop protesters from getting inside a Hugo Boss shop (above)
A small structure is on fire in the centre of a busy pavement as yellow vest protests continue in Paris
Firefighters battle a fire at a street kiosk during a Yellow Vests movement protest as demonstrations continue around them
Security forces stand guard as yellow vests protesters stage a demonstration on avenue Champs Elysees in Paris, France
Security forces bring in armoured vehicles to guard the Champs Elysees as tensions continue to grow over the increased taxes and high cost of living