Tens of thousands of “yellow vests” movements demonstrated Saturday in France in their eighth move, which was interrupted by clashes with the security forces in addition to the evacuation of the government spokesman after the demonstrators stormed the courtyard of the prime minister.
French President Emmanuel Macron commented on Twitter saying: “Again, a great violence is attacking the republic, it attacks the republic’s guards, its representatives and its symbols, every person should review his position and give priority to debate and dialogue”.
More than eighty thousand people took part in the move, compared with 32,000 last week, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said.
The number of demonstrators had reached 65 thousand at the weekend before the Christmas holiday.
The interior minister also tried to play down the importance of the figure, saying that “this movement doesn’t represent France”.
He condemned the clashes, which were recorded on Saturday with his acknowledgment that the majority of the demonstrations “took place well”.
The French interior minister especially condemned attacks on the headquarters of municipalities and institutions and gendarmerie centers in addition to “journalists and newspapers”.
After a quiet demonstration in the morning in Paris, clashes broke out in several neighborhoods in the afternoon, especially on the Seine Pier in the center of the capital.
The number of participants in the afternoon was estimated at 4,000.
A fire broke out in a small restaurant near the Musée d’Orsay.
Small motorbikes, a car and garbage containers were set on fire in the tourist district of St. Germain, where obstacles were lifted, AFP correspondents reported.
Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux was evacuated from his office after a number of “yellow vests” broke into the office of the prime minister.
“There were yellow vests and black-clad people who had broken into the courtyard and smashed two cars”, Griveaux told AFP.
“I am not the target but the republic by people who want to topple the government, but the republic is steadfast”, he said.
Several French cities also witnessed clashes on the eighth mobilization day.
In Rouen, northwestern France, a demonstrator was shot and the protesters then lifted up barriers and threw a gendarmerie with explosives, according to the city prosecutor.
In Caen, west of the country, the police station said in a statement that “the demonstrators went to the Caen police station where hostile objects were thrown at the security forces”.
Several fires broke out, especially in front of the administrative center.
The “Yellow vests” movement was launched on November 17, and included Frenchmen from the poor and middle classes who denounced the government’s financial and social policies, which they considered unfair, and called for improving the purchasing power of the country.
They didn’t take the concessions made by President Emmanuel Macron seriously, of canceling an increase in fuel prices and taking measures to improve purchasing power.
The cost of the treasury amounted to 10 billion euros, in addition to announcing the start of a national debate in mid-January.
The city of Bordeaux and Toulouse in the southwest of the country have seen more mobilization than last Saturday.
Some 4,600 “yellow vests” in Bordeaux staged a sign saying “Change is possible if we unite”.
The demonstration didn’t pass without clashes with security forces.
Thousands of “yellow vests” protesters also shut down the highway that crosses Lyon in both directions, causing heavy traffic, according to AFP correspondents.