More than a dozen people have been arrested as Yellow Vest protesters flood the streets of French cities, marking the 21st consecutive week of mass demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron and his government.
Some 28 protesters were arrested in Paris on Saturday morning, local media reported, citing police. Eric Drouet, one of the leaders of the Yellow Vests, was fined 135 euro ($150) for violating public protest laws. The ruling was slammed by his lawyer who said that “if Drouet wants to have a cup of coffee at the Champs-Elysees, he has an absolute right to do so.”
Nevertheless, the rallies in the French capital and elsewhere remain largely peaceful. The Yellow Vests are singing songs and holding placards as they march to denounce the policies of Emmanuel Macron and demand his resignation.
As of 2pm local time, some 6,300 people had taken to the streets across France, including 3,000 in Paris, according to the Interior Ministry.
The rallies were met with an increased police presence. Videos from the scene showed the crowd booing police motorcades.
The authorities upheld the ban on demonstrations in some places, including the iconic Avenue des Champs-Elysees, as well as the areas surrounding the parliament and the president’s residence at the Elysee Palace. Similar bans were placed in a number of other cities.