'Yellow vests' Act VI: Protesters surprise French police with Montmartre demonstrations

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 22 Dec, 2018 Updated Sat 22 Dec 2018 11:39 CEST
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Shops and restaurants in Montmartre were forced to close their doors on Saturday as hundreds of 'yellow vests' took the French police by surprise by heading to Paris' artistic district instead of Versailles as had previously been mooted.


Hundreds of gilets jaunes marched through the touristy area of Montmartre in the direction of Sacre Coeur on Saturday morning after police had prepared for a protest at the Palace of Versailles.

One of the more controversial figures of the movement Eric Drouet had initially named Versailles, once home to king Louis XVI who lost his head to the revolutionary guillotine, as the location for Saturday's so-called Act VI protests but at around 9 am changed the location to Montmartre. 

Protesters flooded through the area's cobbled streets before arriving at the famous monument and singing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise.

Police asked shops and restaurants in the area to close their doors as a precaution at around 10 am.

At the time of writing the protests appeared to be calm. 

Here are some images from the spontaneous protest. 





Photo: AFP

Protests around France

Elsewhere, some "gilets jaunes" sought to keep pressure on the government to further boost spending power and give citizens more of a say in lawmaking by staging sporadic protests.
In Pfastatt, eastern France, 14 demonstrators trying to block access to a factory supplying parts to PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe's second-biggest carmaker, were arrested by police.
In the southwestern city of Toulouse, some 30 protesters held a rally lampooning Macron on his 41st birthday.
"We haven't brought him any presents because he hasn't given us any," said one protester.
The number of protesters has however fallen significantly since last week, when Macron, a pro-business centrist, gave into some of their demands.
The interior ministry estimated the numbers taking part in various protests on Thursday at under 4,000, the lowest since demonstrations began on November 17, with 282,000 taking part on the first Saturday.
The number of traffic roundabouts occupied by protesters in yellow high-visibility vests over the past five weeks has also markedly dropped.
Some 300 have been cleared by police since mid-December, with 200 still occupied, the interior ministry said Friday.



The Local 2018/12/22 11:39

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