Wednesday 30 September 2020
News ID: 82739
Publish Date: 13 September 2020 - 21:38
PARIS (Dispatches) -- Police arrested more than 200 people and fired tear gas in Paris late Saturday during the first Yellow Vest demonstrations since mid-March.
The last Gilet Jaunes protest happened on March 14, three days before France went into lockdown due to the novel coronavirus.
Officers fired tear gas at demonstrators along the Avenue de Wagram in Paris while another protest took place near the capital’s stock exchange. Other demonstrations took place throughout the country.
Police had banned demonstrations from spreading the Champs Elysees after demonstrators defaced the Arc de Triomphe monument during an earlier Yellow Vest demonstration.
Police said they took more than 250 people in for questioning and issued warnings to 90 others as of 6:20 p.m. local time.
People associated with the Yellow Vest movement had planned four demonstrations on Saturday but police said Friday that they had banned two.
The movement started in November 2018 and takes its name from the yellow high-visibility jackets French motorists carry in their vehicles.
Early protests opposed attempts to increase fuel prices and in its first year, the movement resulted in an $11.05 billion aid package for the poor.
The return of the protests comes as France grapples with a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
 Earlier this month, around 600 Yellow Vests from all over France met in the southern city of Montpellier to discuss the movement’s future and plans for its first anniversary.
The first days of the movement drew large crowds throughout France, with official estimates running around 300,000.
The protests left 11 people dead and more than 4,000 injured, including protesters and the police, according to the French government. Activists claim that 24 protesters lost an eye and five lost a hand.
The movement also sparked Yellow Vest-type protests in other countries, but they were mainly centered in France.
At least some 8,400 people have been arrested since the beginning of Yellow Vest protests, and about 2,000 remanded into custody.

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