Clashes between demonstrators of yellow jackets and police in Paris

The protests of the "yellow jackets" turned violent on Saturday in Paris, where clashes broke out between protesters and police on Champs-Elysées and around the Arc de Triomphe.

"There is no doubt that they are calling for violence and chaos in Paris," Interior Minister Christophe Castagnet said, adding that professional vandals had entered the center of the protestors. He called on the police to respond to any attacks by the demonstrators by force.

This is a cruel moment for protests in its 18th executive week.

Television pictures from the scene show shattered windows and burning cars. Police used tear gas on some of the incidents, according to official sources, dozens were arrested midday on Saturday.

A residential apartment in the capital Paris caught fire during the protests, and a mother and her baby were rescued from the fire. "The fire was deliberately set on fire," Castagnier said, describing the official as "not a rioter, but a murderer."

The fire broke out on the ground floor of the house near the Champs-Elysees and spread out, France 3 reported. The mother and her child were on the second floor and were taken to a safe place by firefighters.

On Saturday, yellow jackets were the weakest since they started in November. In response, several prominent figures in the movement called for relative demonstrations in Paris at the weekend.

The Yellow Jackets movement initially began to protest against fuel prices but expanded its objectives to include proposed reform policies by President Emmanuel Macaron.

Other demonstrations are planned in Paris today, including a massive rally to draw attention to climate change.


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