Mon, Mar 25, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Security measures keep yellow vest protests peaceful


Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, poses with his wife, Peng Liyuan, upon arrival at the Royal Palace in Palermo, Italy, on Saturday.

Photo: AP / Igor Petyx / ANSA

Scattered yellow vest protesters on Saturday clashed with French police firing tear gas after a peaceful march through Paris, but tougher security measures and protest bans in high-risk neighborhoods prevented the kind of rioting that devastated the capital a week ago.

The four-month-old movement drew bigger crowds on Saturday than in recent weeks, despite heavy security and even though last weekend’s violence dented overall support for the French President Emmanuel Macron favors the elite.

Thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully through Paris — their 19th straight weekend of protests — ending up at the Sacre-Coeur Cathedral overlooking the city from the historic Montmartre neighborhood.

Protesters sprayed yellow flares and unfurled a neon banner from atop the cathedral’s white dome. In a relaxed mood, demonstrators and tourists alike took selfies as the march wound down.

However, tensions erupted later as small clusters of masked protesters set garbage cans on fire and threw projectiles as they moved toward Republique Plaza in eastern Paris.

Helmeted riot police fired volleys of tear gas in response.

A police officer on the plaza suffered a heart problem, slumping to the ground before being hospitalized in what Paris police described as a “very serious” condition.

Elsewhere on Saturday, small groups of demonstrators and police clashed in the southern cities of Nice and Montpellier.

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