Saturday, 23 October 2021 | News today: 0

Paris protests: Eiffel Tower reopens as hundreds of activists remain in police custody


Weary residents in Paris cleaned up their city on Sunday after further ‘yellow vest’ protests in the French capital, the Independent reports.

Anti-government demonstrators marched through the city on Saturday in a show of public anger focused on social inequality and unpopular French president Emmanuel Macron.

Nearly 90,000 police officers were deployed as part of the measures aimed at containing the chaos, which has disrupted the city for four weekends in a row.

Police officers used tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets against some of the protesters and the Interior Ministry said 1,220 people were taken into custody around France.

135 are thought to be injured, including 17 policemen.

Major tourist sights, including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum, reopened on Sunday morning, as workers cleared debris and broken glass from the streets.

Emmanuel Macron has maintained a low profile during the protests but is now under pressure to discuss the disruption.

A government spokesperson announced on Sunday that Macron would address the nation in the coming week.

His administration has offered some concessions to ‘yellow vest’ leaders, including the reversal of the fuel tax hike that first triggered the protests.

The activists are now demanding lower taxes, higher minimum wages, and better pension benefits.

Many believe that Macron should resign, but negotiations are proving difficult as the ‘yellow vests’ lack a leader.

Across Paris bank branch offices, toy shops, opticians and other retail outlets were covered with graffiti, much of which attacked Macron.

“This chaos has to end,” said Andre Juillard, a doctor, as he stood in line with other Parisians at a bakery near the Eiffel Tower.

“I don’t know if Macron’s resignation is necessary, but he must completely change course and increase wages and lower taxes,” said Bertrand Cruzatier, a local who stood watching cleaners scrub out graffiti at the Place de la Republique.

Protesters had raised a banner in the center of the famous square.

Hanging from the bronze statue of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic, it read: “Give back the money.”