Thousands of Yellow Vest demonstrators took the streets in Paris and in cities across France in a new round of protests over the plight of millions of people struggling to make ends meet.
The Yellow Vests have been protesting in France since November 17 and despite piecemeal concessionary reforms, and violent police repression, the movement continues to call for the president to step down.
High-end jewelry and clothing shops were boarded up along with banks, while restaurants and cafes remained open. More than 50 people were arrested in the area, hundreds injured, many seriously.
Police again tried to violently suppress a ninth consecutive weekend of protests with batons stun grenades water cannons and tear gas. French authorities deployed more than 80,000 security forces across France to put down the protests.
Large parts of central Paris were blocked off using armored vehicles, metal fencing and water cannons with thousands of riot police, but the Yellow Vests still appeared.
The crowd chanted “Macron Resign,” within minutes, huge clouds of tear gas covered the area. People of France have been calling Macron the “President of the Rich.” With polls showing his popularity at just 18 percent, many see the former investment banker as indifferent to their hardship.
Polls show historic levels of distrust towards politicians and the government. A poll by Cevipof released Friday showed more than three quarters of respondents thought politicians inspired “distrust,” “disgust” or “boredom.”