Protesters, police clash near Paris presidential palace
Hundreds of demonstrators on Saturday, November 17, clashed with police, who deployed tear gas in return, near Paris’ Elysee presidential palace as nationwide road blockades surge on.
Thousands of French protesters hit out at higher fuel taxes and President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies in demonstrations across motorways on Saturday, sparking major traffic jams and several accidents, including a fatality at one road blockade.
Dozens of people were also injured, as drivers tried to get around the protests.
The protest movement dubbed the “yellow vests” took to motorway sliproads, tunnel entrances or airport access roads.
The demonstrations, coordinated on social media, were born out of a backlash against higher fuel prices, and echo complaints over a perceived squeeze in spending power and mounting dissatisfaction with Macron, who some view as out of touch with ordinary people.
At least 106 people were injured across the country, including five seriously, according to the interior ministry, which by mid-afternoon estimated that around 244,000 demonstrators were taking part in Saturday’s protests. Thirty-eight people were taken into custody.