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(en) [France] French police arrest 227 in protests of "yellow vests" By ANA (pt) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 25 Apr 2019 09:55:56 +0300

After five months of mobilization, thousands of "yellow vests" took to the streets for the 23rd consecutive Saturday of protests, already marked by clashes between security forces and demonstrators, which resulted in more than 200 prisons. Police attacked the protesters on several occasions with scattered grenades and tear gas on a large avenue in the center of the capital, between the squares of the Bastille and the Republic. ---- In the middle of the day, police had arrested 227 people in Paris and made more than 20,500 "preventive checks". At 19:00 local time, 178 people had been detained in the capital, including six minors. ---- 'Living with dignity' ---- The demonstration in Paris began calmly, with the traditional claims of an increase in purchasing power and more direct democracy. Another protest, which left the Basilica of Saint-Denis in the north of the city, passed without incident.

"We want to live with dignity. I have my pension, but I am here for future generations, "said Joël Blayon, a retired fisherman.

The mood in "act 23" was one of mistrust after a week in which President Emmanuel Macron would unveil a grand program of reforms to quell social discontent. The announcement was postponed to next Thursday by the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The national commotion provoked by the fire at Notre-Dame irritated some "yellow vests," especially for the millions of euros promised by the French fortunes for reconstruction. "I really like Notre-Dame, I'm Catholic, but the biggest asset is the hand and the head that works," said Jean-Maria, a retired professor from Auxerre (center).

Protests across the country

In Bordeaux (southwest), center of force of the movement, a small crowd gathered in the Stock Exchange square before starting the march, while the police blocked the access to the streets of the center of the city. In Toulouse (south), thousands of people gathered in a central square. "I'm scared, but that did not stop me from coming," said Claudine Sarradet, a retiree.

In Marseille (south), about a thousand "yellow vests" gathered to protest at the Old Port. In the city of Lille in the north, hundreds of people demonstrated. "Macron can not give answers because he does not want to change his policy, 'everything for the rich'," said Stéphanie, 27, a housewife.

Between 200 and 300 people demonstrated in Rouen (north), although the protest was forbidden.

As in previous weeks, authorities banned rallies in emblematic places in the country, such as the grand Champs-Élysées avenue and the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. More than 60,000 police and gendarmes were deployed, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Friday, saying he feared the return of the "vandals".

Source: news agencies

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