Over 200 arrested for protesting against price rise in petrol
Paris: At least 288 people were arrested and over 100 people sustained critical injuries as protests erupted in Paris against rising fuel prices.
Clashes erupted on Saturday after protesters with the gilets jaune or yellow vest movement took to the streets to demonstrate against rising gas prices and taxes on polluting forms of transport.
Saturday’s protests marked the third consecutive week of such demonstrations, although with an estimated 36,500 participants across the country they were smaller than those in weeks past, according to the French Interior Ministry.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Twitter Saturday that 1,500 troublemakers had infiltrated a group of about 200 peaceful protesters and had come to fight near the Champs Elysees.
Footage shared by French police showed a few demonstrators striking a police vehicle and smashing its windshield.
Other videos captured burning cars and police firing tear gas to disperse protesters.
Rising fuel prices were largely attributed to a leap in the wholesale price of oil.
Brent crude oil, a benchmark for worldwide oil purchases, increased by more than 20 per cent in the first half of the year, from around $60 a barrel to $86.07 in early October.
But the protests have evolved into a broader demonstration against French President Emmanuel Macron, his government and tensions between the metropolitan elite and rural poor.
Macron, who is attending the G-20 Summit said, “The violent protests and vandalism in Paris have “absolutely nothing to do with the peaceful demonstrations of a legitimate unhappiness or discontent. Those responsible will be identified and taken to court.”
It is to be mentioned that last week about 53,000 participated and there were about 113,000 people the week before.