Saturday, 17 August, 2019

Police arrest 'yellow vest' demonstrators as clashes break out

Notre Dame's 180000 Bees Survive Cathedral Fire Notre Dame's Three Rooftop Beehives (Containing Over 180,000 Bees) Survive Cathedral Fire
Patty Aguilar | 21 April, 2019, 07:28

French yellow vest protesters have launched fresh marches to remind the government that rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral is not the only problem the nation needs to solve.

Journalists reported scuffles between police and protesters in the afternoon, after hours of calm, as police used anti-riot grenades and tear gas to disperse marchers in the centre of the French capital.

Multiple protest events are being held around Paris and other cities on Saturday for the 23rd weekend of the yellow vest movement against wealth inequality and President Emmanuel Macron's leadership. They wanted to march to Notre Dame itself, but were banned by police, who set up a large security perimeter around the area.

Protesters have set small fires and police have fired tear gas on the sidelines of yellow vest demonstrations in the French capital.

Catholic worshippers carried out the Way of the Cross ritual near the cathedral to mark Good Friday, and the Crown of Thorns relic saved from the fire was presented to worshippers at the nearby Saint-Sulpice Church.

"There is no more risk the edifice's walls could fall down", Lt. Col. Gabriel Plus, chief spokesman for the Paris fire service, told The Associated Press.

The violence contrasted sharply with the peaceful atmosphere at another march through Paris, where demonstrators mourned the Notre Dame blaze while also keeping up the pressure on Macron.

Some 60,000 police officers were mobilized for Saturday's protests across France.

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Monday's fire at the Notre-Dame delayed Macron's long-awaited plans to quell anti-government protests that have marred his presidency.

Paul Harlow, of Kansas City, Missouri, looked sadly at the damaged Notre Dame, saying, "Paris is very hard right now".

The Yellow Vests protests have been ongoing since last November, starting as a fuel tax revolt but have come to represent social policies and dissatisfaction with the French government in general.

"I was incredibly sad about Notre-Dame because it's such a handsome building", Mr Géant said in an interview with CNN. He had been scheduled to lay out his responses to yellow vest concerns on Monday night - tax cuts for lower-income households and measures to boost pensions and help single parents - but canceled the speech after the Notre Dame fire broke out. "There is a lot of injustice".

He is now expected to do so next Thursday.

In his New Year's address, Macron referred to the movement without naming it.

Over $1 billion U.S. has already poured in from ordinary worshippers and high-powered magnates around the world to restore Notre-Dame.

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