Yellow vest protesters set life-threatening fires and clash with police in Paris

/ AP

French yellow vest protesters set life-threatening fires, smashed up luxury stores and clashed with police Saturday in the 18th straight weekend of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron. Large plumes of smoke rose above the rioting on Paris' landmark Champs-Elysees Avenue, and a mother and her child were just barely saved from a building blaze.

French police tried to contain the demonstrators with limited success.

One perilous fire targeted a bank on the ground floor of a seven-story residential building. As firetrucks rushed over, a mother and her child were rescued as the fire threatened to engulf their floor, the city's fire service told The Associated Press. Eleven people in the building, including two firefighters, sustained light injuries, as other residents were evacuated to safety.

The rioting comes at the end of a two-month national debate that Macron organized to respond to protesters' concerns about sinking living standards, stagnant wages and high unemployment.

After the weekly protests dwindled recently, protesters were hoping to breathe new life into their movement against a president who they see as favoring the elite.

Firefighters try to extinguish the fire on a newsagent set alight during clashes with riot police forces on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on March 16, 2019. ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP/Getty

The violence started Saturday when protesters threw smoke bombs and other objects at officers along the famed avenue — scene of repeated past rioting — and started pounding on the windows of a police van, prompting riot police to retreat.

Simultaneous fires were also put out from two burning newspaper kiosks, which sent black smoke high into the sky. Several protesters smiled as they posed for a photo in front of one the kiosk's charred remains.

Demonstrators also targeted symbols of the luxury industry, as shops including brands Hugo Boss and Lacoste were smashed up and pillaged, and mannequins thrown out of the broken windows. A posh eatery called Fouquet's, which is associated with politicians and celebrities, was vandalized and set on fire. A vehicle burned outside the luxury boutique Kenzo, one of many blazes on and around the Champs-Elysees.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said up to 8,000 demonstrators were in Paris on Saturday, including 1,500 "ultra-violent ones that are there to smash things up."

Castaner ordered police to retaliate against these "inadmissible" acts, condemning those who "call for violence and are here to ferment chaos in Paris."

Paris police told The Associated Press that 82 people were arrested by mid-afternoon. Police closed down several streets and fanned out around the Right Bank.

"Yellow Vest" movement leaders say protests will continue despite Macron's concessions

Yellow vest groups representing teachers, unemployed people and labor unions were among those that organized dozens of rallies and marches Saturday in the capital and around France.

Protesters dismiss Macron's national debate on the economy as empty words and a campaign ploy by Macron to gain support for the European Parliament elections in May. Protesters are angry over high taxes and Macron policies seen as coddling business.

"Those who participated in this great debate are mostly retirees and upper middle class, meaning Macron's electorate, even though we understood this great national debate was supposed to respond to the yellow vest crisis," lawyer and protester Francois Boulo told Europe-1 radio.

FRANCE-POLITICS-SOCIAL-DEMO
A firefighter sprays water to extinguish a fire burning the restaurant "Le Fouquet's" on March 16, 2019. ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP/Getty

First published on March 16, 2019 / 12:34 PM

© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

FRANCE-POLITICS-SOCIAL-DEMO FRANCE-POLITICS-SOCIAL-DEMO

Author on why the college cheating scam probably won't bring much change

"Colleges are too fearful to offend the wealthy people who donate money," author Daniel Golden says

21M ago

Churches open their doors to businesses in order to survive

Sunday looks very different from Monday at White Rock United Methodist Church in Dallas

1H ago

Why the new military budget is focused on China

To a remarkable degree, the budget proposal is shaped by threats acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has summarized in three words: "China, China, China."

1H ago

The man behind Blue Moon is brewing cannabis-infused beer

"There are gummies and chocolates. but let's face it. When people are getting married you can't toast the bride and the groom with a gummy bear"

2H ago

Better late than never? Man returns library book that was 53 years overdue

Lyndon Johnson was president and Vietnam War protests were raging when he checked out the book in the 1960s

2H ago

Why the new military budget is focused on China

To a remarkable degree, the budget proposal is shaped by threats acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has summarized in three words: "China, China, China."

1H ago

Ted Cruz campaign fined by FEC for not properly disclosing loans

His Senate campaign was fined $35,000

3H ago

Can Sanders win support from minorities and women in 2020?

CBS News polling analysis of where Sanders' strengths and weaknesses were among the Democratic primary electorate in 2016 as he begins his 2020 run

5H ago

Beto O'Rourke says comments about wife were "ham-handed"

O'Rourke also said he was "mortified" when he reread the violent fiction he wrote as a teen, which was uncovered in a Reuters report

11H ago

Bernie Sanders' campaign becomes the first-ever to unionize

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 will represent them as their exclusive bargaining representative, according to the campaign

18H ago

French rioters set life-threatening fires and clash with police in Paris

French police tried to contain the demonstrators with limited success

6M ago

Milo Yiannopoulos banned from entering Australia after massacre comments

"Yiannopoulos' comments on social media regarding the Christchurch terror attack are appalling and foment hatred and division," an official said

47M ago

Why the new military budget is focused on China

To a remarkable degree, the budget proposal is shaped by threats acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has summarized in three words: "China, China, China."

1H ago

The man who chased New Zealand mosque shooter is being hailed as a hero

He picked up the first thing he could find — a credit card machine — and ran outside screaming "Come here!"

3H ago

Suspected mosque shooter appears in New Zealand courtroom

The Australian national is accused of killing dozens of people in a shooting rampage

4H ago

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin delete social media accounts

Weeks before being charged, Huffman tweeted a "throwback" photo with William H. Macy calling him her "partner in crime"

16H ago

James Gunn brought back to direct "Guardians of the Galaxy 3"

Months after being fired over old tweets, James Gunn has been rehired as director of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3"

20H ago

HBO plans super-sized "Game of Thrones" episodes

Our watch is coming to an end

21H ago

Lilly Singh gets late-night show on NBC

She's an Indian-Canadian woman who is bisexual – unlike any other late-night host

Mar 15

Rosario Dawson confirms she's dating Cory Booker

Some fans are excited that "first lady Rosario Dawson" may be a possibility

Mar 15

Apple owes Qualcomm $31 million for patent infringement, jury rules

Qualcomm and Apple have been sparring over who invented key technology used in many mobile devices

18H ago

New Zealand shooting puts grim focus on social media

An alleged gunman in New Zealand apparently livestreamed the attack and posted a manifesto online

20H ago

Facebook launches AI tool to remove "revenge porn"

Users currently must report inappropriate images, which slows the process of pulling them off the site

Mar 15

Standoff between eagle and squirrel goes viral

The photographer tells CBS News the squirrel was a mother defending its babies – and she persevered

Mar 15

Facebook, YouTube trying to rein in footage of New Zealand mosque shooting

Unverified footage as well as posts of praise or support for the crime are being removed from Facebook and other social media sites

Mar 15

Start kids' swimming lessons at 1 year old, safety experts say

It only takes seconds for a child to drown​. Parents can help protect their kids with these tips

20H ago

Food banks among recipients of Butterball turkey recalled in salmonella outbreak

At least half a dozen people in three states sickened by bacteria: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

23H ago

Are eggs bad for your heart? Experts weigh new findings

A new, large study suggests it may be time to re-evaluate dietary guidelines on eggs and cholesterol

Mar 15

Surprise medical bills: How to ease the shock

Out-of-network providers can sock you with unexpected expenses, but there are steps to make sure you don't get hit

Mar 15

Every 10 minutes a child goes to the ER for medicine poisoning

Many parents are underestimating their kids' ability to get their hands on dangerous medications​

Mar 14

The U.S. has 1 million more job openings than unemployed workers

Employers posted 7.6 million open jobs in January, close to November's record, signaling businesses are still hiring

17H ago

Bernie Sanders' campaign becomes the first-ever to unionize

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 will represent them as their exclusive bargaining representative, according to the campaign

18H ago

Apple owes Qualcomm $31 million for patent infringement, jury rules

Qualcomm and Apple have been sparring over who invented key technology used in many mobile devices

18H ago

New beer uses ingredient from 1886 shipwreck

Brewer retrieved yeast from intact beer bottles on the SS Oregon, which lies 135 feet below the waves

19H ago

Zion Williamson thanks Nike for making him stronger shoes

"The shoes were incredible in this game," Williamson said after leading his team to victory against Syracuse

19H ago

Suspected mosque shooter appears in New Zealand courtroom

The Australian national is accused of killing dozens of people in a shooting rampage

4H ago

Businessman charged in college admissions scam pleads not guilty

David Sidoo is accused of paying $200,000 to have someone take a college entrance exam in place of his two sons

14H ago

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin delete social media accounts

Weeks before being charged, Huffman tweeted a "throwback" photo with William H. Macy calling him her "partner in crime"

16H ago

U.S. sees steady rise in violence by white supremacists

"We're seeing an increase in the propaganda"

18H ago

Foreigners among those killed and wounded in New Zealand mosque attacks

Several were from the Middle East or South Asia, according to reports from governments

19H ago

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here