French Gilets Jaunes: Ministry broken into amid fresh protests

French Gilets Jaunes: Ministry broken into amid fresh protests

French Gilets Jaunes: Ministry broken into amid fresh protests

Several hundred women wearing yellow vests have marched through Paris in a bid to restore a peaceful image to the grassroots protest movement, a day after demonstrations veered once more into violence.

The predominantly female crowd descended in the morning on the Place de la Bastille, blocking traffic, before heading toward Place de la Republique, the France Info radio said.

Some protesters could be heard chanting "La Marseillaise", France's national anthem, while others carried banners reading "Abolish the privileges of the elite!" and "Macron, resign!"

In Paris, the protest drew about 3,500 demonstrators, much more than the 800 participants last week.

The yellow vest movement was launched to express anger over fuel tax hikes hurting working people who commute by vehicle, but grew to encompass broader anger over Macron's economic policies, deemed to favour the rich.

What began as a protest about a fuel tax back in November has escalated into widespread anger at rising living costs.

The yellow vest campaign was launched following fuel tax hikes affecting working people who commute by vehicle.

Officers fired tear gas to prevent protesters crossing the river and reaching the National Assembly.

Underscoring the seriousness of Saturday's protests, President Emmanuel Macron reacted sharply on Twitter.

The midweek Paris arrest of Eric Drouet, one the movement's spokesman, sparked anger among his supporters.

President Emmanuel Macron has offered concessions; however, they are not almost enough in the eyes of many protesters; and as the protests continue, so does the occasional violence that follows it.

The French government has condemned mindless acts of violence against both civilians and the police as numerous videos have surfaced online showing violent altercations between rioters and security officers.

"The gilets jaunes movement for those who are still mobilized have become agitators who want insurrection and, basically, to overthrow the government", Griveaux later told reporters.

Their numbers have fallen since Macron announced concessions in mid-December that included hiking the minimum wage and canceling a planned fuel tax increase that had sparked the first protests in November.

The protests have turned into the biggest political crisis of Macron's 20-month presidency and brought his popularity ratings to an all-time low.

Former cinema icon Brigitte Bardot, who is known today for her rightwing views and animal rights activism, on Sunday said she understood what motivated the yellow vest movement.

"It should be given instead to people in need".

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