After 10 weeks of riots, some 84,000 Yellow Vest protesters in France ratcheted up the violence this weekend to span six cities across the country, including Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse and Angers.
Police officers in Paris told international reporters that hundreds of riot police were being attacked on the streets by the protesters, who hurled live firecrackers, bottles and rocks at the police.
Some of the protesters attacked Les Invalides, the site where the body of Napoleon is entombed in a sarcophagus under a golden dome; they were fought off by Paris police using tear gas, water cannon and “flash ball guns,” according to multiple news agencies.
In Toulouse, some 10,000 rioters vandalized a bank and other shops on Saturday night; there were 23 arrests. Eight people were allegedly injured but it’s not clear how many of those were protesters and how many were police officers. In Angers, a Banque de France was also threatened by flames.
Debates about national social policy initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron in hopes of stemming the violence appear to have done little good. Some of the protesters have included anti-Semitic epithets in their protests but most of the rioting remains focused on French national policy.