Bear mascot is battered to ground during Yellow Vest rally

Riot police blast tear gas at Yellow Vest activists who return fire with catapults as violence rages into ninth week after thousands flood French capital in tax fury

  • Tear gas and baton charges were used by French police on thousands of Yellow Vest protestors  
  • The ugly scenes came on 9th Saturday in a row of violence that now routinely reduces Paris to a war zone
  • A panda mascot was battered to the ground and helped away by Yellow Vests as violence flared again 
  • Demonstrations were seen in other French cities and towns, as 80000 police and gendarmes were mobilised

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Tear gas and baton charges were used by French police on thousands of Yellow Vest protestors threatening the Arc de Triomphe in Paris today during more mass anti-government demonstrations.

The ugly scenes came on the 9th Saturday in a row of violence that now routinely reduces the capital city to a war zone. 

In Paris, epicentre of the fiery street clashes and vandalism that have made global headlines, 5,000 riot police were on hand, using tall barricades and armoured vehicles to lock down the central Place de la Concorde and surrounding districts.

Hundreds of officers were also on guard on the Champs-Elysees, where banks, jewellery stores and other shops had boarded up windows in anticipation of renewed looting and violence.

Yet many cafes and retailers on the iconic avenue remained open for business, as several thousands of protesters marched calmly from the Place de la Bastille toward the Arc de Triomphe early in the afternoon.

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French police detain a bloodied Yellow Vest (Gilets jaunes) protester during an anti-government demonstration in Marseille today

French police detain a bloodied Yellow Vest (Gilets jaunes) protester during an anti-government demonstration in Marseille today

A protester holds a burning flare next to a fire during an anti-government demonstration called by the 'Yellow Vest' (Gilets Jaunes) movement outside in front of the Cathedral of Brodeaux, southwestern France

A protester holds a burning flare next to a fire during an anti-government demonstration called by the ‘Yellow Vest’ (Gilets Jaunes) movement outside in front of the Cathedral of Brodeaux, southwestern France

Gendarmes spray water at yellow vested protesters in front of the Cathedral of Bordeaux in southwestern France this evening

Gendarmes spray water at yellow vested protesters in front of the Cathedral of Bordeaux in southwestern France this evening

Protesters break the window of a shop during an anti-government demonstration called by the Yellow Vest (Gilets jaunes) movement in Paris on January 12, 2019

Protesters break the window of a shop during an anti-government demonstration called by the Yellow Vest (Gilets jaunes) movement in Paris on January 12, 2019

Police arrest a protester during an anti-government demonstration called by the Gilets Jaunes movement on January 12, 2019, in the shopping area in Le Mans, western France

Police arrest a protester during an anti-government demonstration called by the Gilets Jaunes movement on January 12, 2019, in the shopping area in Le Mans, western France

French anti-riot police draw their weapons while colleagues detain a protester during renewed clashes in Paris today

French anti-riot police draw their weapons while colleagues detain a protester during renewed clashes in Paris today

French riot police take positions in the city center during a yellow vest demonstration in Marseille, southern France, Saturday, January 12, 2019

French riot police take positions in the city center during a yellow vest demonstration in Marseille, southern France, Saturday, January 12, 2019

Protesters from the 'Gilets Jaunes' (Yellow Vests) movement take part in the 'Act IX' demonstration (the 9th consecutive national protest on a Saturday)

Protesters from the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (Yellow Vests) movement take part in the ‘Act IX’ demonstration (the 9th consecutive national protest on a Saturday)

Thousands of anti-government demonstrators marched in cities across France on January 12 in a new round of 'yellow vest' protests against the president, accused of ignoring the plight of millions of people struggling to make ends meet

Thousands of anti-government demonstrators marched in cities across France on January 12 in a new round of ‘yellow vest’ protests against the president, accused of ignoring the plight of millions of people struggling to make ends meet

In Paris, epicentre of the fiery street clashes and vandalism that have made global headlines, 5,000 riot police were on hand, using tall barricades and armoured vehicles to lock down the central Place de la Concorde and surrounding districts

In Paris, epicentre of the fiery street clashes and vandalism that have made global headlines, 5,000 riot police were on hand, using tall barricades and armoured vehicles to lock down the central Place de la Concorde and surrounding districts

Police stand near a fire near the Cathedral of Bordeaux, southwestern France, during an anti-government demonstration

Police stand near a fire near the Cathedral of Bordeaux, southwestern France, during an anti-government demonstration