Calm gradually returned Saturday night in France after the fourth national day of mobilization of “yellow vests” enamelled new violence in Paris and some major provincial cities, the Prime Minister hoping on Saturday night “to restore national unity”.
For this day of demonstrations, placed under very high security, the Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner announced 125,000 demonstrators, a little less than December 1.
On the other hand, the police force proceeded to many more arrests – 1,385 which gave rise to 975 police custody in the whole of France. “This is an exceptional level,” he added, which reflects the significant police mobilization deployed for this day deemed high risk.
“The dialogue has begun,” said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe at the end of the day, who now wants to “re-establish national unity”.
“The President of the Republic will express himself, it will be up to him to propose the measures that will feed this dialogue and which will, I hope, enable the whole of the French Nation to meet and be up to the issues, “he added.
After a relatively calm morning, clashes erupted in the afternoon in different parts of the capital but also in the provinces, especially in Bordeaux, where the parade of several thousand participants, first peaceful, degenerated at the end of the day. course. At least one person was seriously injured, according to an AFP journalist there.
Violent clashes have also occurred in Toulouse, where several thousand people driven out of the city center with tear gas have erected and burned barricades.
In Paris, cars burned, shops were looted, but in a lesser proportion than the previous Saturday and sometimes under the shouts of reprobation of “yellow vests”.
“It’s nonsense!”, Laurent, 37, a mechanic from Val d’Oise, told AFP that he was moving away from a group of young people without yellow vests who were destroying a shop window. golf equipment. “We tried to intervene but we were threatened.”
Anne Hidalgo, PS mayor of the capital, lamented “scenes of chaos” and “immeasurable damage” for the economy and the image of the city, at the end of this new mobilization of motley movement that hears protest against taxes and the decline in purchasing power.
– “More social justice!” –
According to a provisional national assessment of the Directorate General of Health, “179 injured people were supported throughout the territory by hospital medical teams.”
“To all the forces of the order mobilized today, thank you for the courage and the exceptional professionalism which you showed”, tweeted at the end of the evening the president of the republic, Emmanuel Macron.
Last week-end, the images of wealthy Paris neighborhoods plagued by hours of urban guerrilla warfare, had stunned in France and abroad and pushed the authorities to review their policing strategy.
For the entire territory, 89,000 members of the police were mobilized, including 8,000 in Paris supported by 14 “VBRG” armored wheeled vehicles of the gendarmerie deployed for the first time in their history in the capital, on big boulevards, Friedland avenue, rue de Rivoli etc.
On the Champs-Elysees, which have been relatively spared by the breakage, a slogan has often sounded: “Macron resignation!”.
Looting and burning of cars occurred in the capital, due to small groups of young people. These scenes, fast and violent, this time touched more distant streets of the Champs-Elysees and the great boulevards, where the stores were closed exceptionally for this day.