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Yellow vest anniversary: More protests planned for Sunday in Paris

Sunday, November 17th marks exactly one year since the 'yellow vest' protests began and there are several actions planned for Paris.

Yellow vest anniversary: More protests planned for Sunday in Paris
Police will be out on the streets of Paris again on Sunday. Photo: AFP

The majority of the demonstrations around France took place on Saturday – the traditional 'yellow vest' day of protest which has seen demonstrations every week for the past year.

But there are some groups who have planned actions to mark the anniversary day itself, although turnout is expected to be much lower than on Saturday, which saw violence and arson as a small group of black-clad protesters trashed the Place d'Italie. 

Here is a selection of what has been publicised;

A rally is planned for the Place Joaquim Du Bellay in the 1st arrondissement, close to Chatalet des Halles.

Organisers say they will meet at 9am and remain until 6pm.

An candlelit vigil is planned for Place de la République from 5pm, which organisers say will be in 'tribute to the victims'.

A rally and 'surprise party' is planned for Place Jacques Duclos in the Paris suburb of Montreuil, starting at 9.30am.

There is also a plan to occupy shops, referred to as 'temples of consumption' which is attracting the greatest interest so far on social media, with 4,200 saying they plan to attend.

Paris police chief Didier Lallement has said that any attempt to cause trouble on Sunday will be met with “great firmness” by police.

The Paris préfecture de police has also given the order to close several Metro stations on Sunday.

The following stations will be closed; Tuileries, Argentine et Georges V, Champs Elysées Clémenceau, Charles de Gaulle Etoile, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Concorde, Invalides, Assemblée National, Varenne, Pont de l'Alma, Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel.

The lines affected are lines 1, 2,6, 8, 9, 12 and 13 as well as RER line C.

Although the stations will be closed, the lines will still be running and trains will simply go straight through the closed stations.

Closures sill be in place from 7am on Sunday – you can get live updates from Paris transport operator RATP here.


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What happened to the rioters who trashed the Arc de Triomphe during yellow vest violence?

A court in France has finally handed out sentences to some of those involved in the vandalism and theft at the Arc de Triomphe in December 2018 - when 'yellow vest' violence in Paris shocked the world.

What happened to the rioters who trashed the Arc de Triomphe during yellow vest violence?
'Yellow vest' protesters clash with police by the Arc de Triomphe on December 1st 2018 in Paris. Photo: Abdulmonam EASSA / AFP

The French court on Thursday sentenced eight people to suspended jail terms and community service for taking part in one of the most violent episodes of the anti-government ‘yellow vest’ protests that rocked France two years ago.

A total of nine stood trial this week for the incident, but one of them, a former soldier, was cleared for lack of evidence, presiding judge Sonia Lumbroso said at the verdict.

The court ruled the suspects were neither the instigators nor the main culprits of the vandalism and looting around the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris, when scenes of destruction and fierce clashes with police made global headlines.

Most of them had no criminal records.

They were sentenced to 70 hours of community service for entering the monument, but those also found guilty of stealing items such as postcards, Arc de Triomphe models or miniature Eiffel Towers from the gift shop, were fined €100 for theft.

A ‘yellow vest’ protester arrives at the courthouse in Paris to attend the trial of ten people on charge of destruction and theft around the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris. Photo: Thomas COEX / AFP

One of the group, a man who was caught on camera trying to break down a door with a fire extinguisher, was handed the most severe sentence, a suspended prison term of eight months.

Dozens of cars were set on fire and businesses trashed all along the celebrated Champs-Elysées avenue on December 1st, 2018, the third Saturday of mass demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron.

READ ALSO: Macron risks losing support from left against Le Pen in French presidential election

He was accused of ignoring the plight of struggling French families and after months of protests he abandoned a planned fuel tax hike and raised spending on the lowest earners.

The protesters had already skirmished with security forces at earlier rallies, but police were unprepared for the rioting that engulfed the capital just a few weeks before Christmas.

Despite firing volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets, the officers were forced to abandon their positions around the Arc de Triomphe, which honours France’s war dead.

Protesters snuffed out the eternal flame over the tomb of an unknown World War I soldier and spray-painted the stone walls with graffiti including “the yellow vests will triumph”.

Others forced their way inside the arch, ransacking the gift shop and damaging scores of artworks, causing damage that cost €1.2 million to repair.

READ ALSO: Is France’s ‘yellow vest’ movement really on its way back?