AFP: Clashes as French police crack down on 'yellow vest' protests23 March 2019 | 22:05 | FOCUS News Agency
More than 40,000 people took to the streets across France for a 19th consecutive week of anti-government protests -- 5,000 of them in the capital -- Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said.
Most of the "yellow vest" protests were relatively calm but scuffles broke out in Paris in the afternoon as police moved in with tear gas against a hard core of hooded demonstrators, many wearing gas masks or helmets.
A 75-year-old woman was seriously injured in the southern city of Nice when she fell and hit her head during a police charge.
Authorities had vowed zero tolerance of any violence, outlawing the protests in a large area of western Paris for the first time.
That included the Champs-Elysees, the scene of last Saturday's rampage by hundreds of black-clad agitators.
This time around 6,000 security forces backed by armoured vehicles and water cannon were mobilised in the capital, where a march ended at the Sacre-Coeur basilica with few incidents.
Police later blocked off a boulevard where dozens of protesters set fire to garbage bins before fleeing toward the Place de la Republique, where they gradually dispersed.
One officer suffered a heart attack at the scene and was taken to hospital in serious condition, a police source told AFP.
© 2019 All rights reserved. Citing Focus Information Agency is mandatory!