French police battle ‘yellow vest’ protesters then Algeria football fans in tense Bastille Day

French police battle 'yellow vest' protesters then Algeria football fans in tense Bastille Day
Fires on the Champs-Elysées. Photo: AFP
French police were involved in running battles with first 'yellow vest' protesters then Algeria football fans on Sunday.

Trouble first flared in Paris after the traditional Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysées when a small group of 'yellow vest' protesters staged a demonstration.

The demonstrators – believed to be members of the violent 'black bloc' sometimes associated with the yellow vest movement – occupied the upper part of the Champs-Elysées and built a barricade from the metal barriers that had been used to limit the movements of spectators for the military parade.
Fires were started on the Champs-Elysées after the Bastille Day parade. Photo: AFP
Bins and street furniture were set alight by the rioters, some of whom were pictured equipped with gas masks, protective goggles and black clothing. A few shop windows were broken in streets near the avenue and the glass of a bus shelter was destroyed.
Police fired tear gas at protesters and at least 150 people were arrested, including 'yellow vest' leaders Eric Drouet, Maxime Nicolle and Jérôme Rodrigues, who were arrested earlier in the day in an area near the Champs-Elysées. Yellow vest demonstrations have been banned on the famed Paris avenue since violence and looting erupted there during a protest in March.
'Black bloc' protesters in Paris. Photo: AFP
Troubled flared again later in the day, the time from football fans after Algeria beat Nigeria to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations final.
After Algeria scored the winning goal in the dying seconds of the match, thousands of fans poured out onto the streets to celebrate, but there were incidents in Paris, Lyon and Marseille and police say that in total 282 people were arrested overnight.
The worst troubled appears to have been in Marseille, where thousands of Algeria fans were watching the match on the Boulevard de la Canebière.
Algeria supporters in Marseille. Photo: AFP
After the winning the goal, hundreds tried to descend on the Old Port area of the city, where the traditional Bastille Day fireworks display was just finishing.
Police blocked their way and there were several clashes where fans were seen to throw stones and firecrackers.
Later in the night bins were set on fire and several bus shelters were demolished.
French police said that 50 people were arrested in Paris and 147 in the Lyon area – where dozens of cars were torched overnight.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner on Monday congratulated police and firemen for their “speedy reaction and professionalism which contained the violence and to the perpetrators” being apprehended.


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