In the first demonstration after the coronavirus quarantine and the summer season, there were clashes with the police on the Champs Elysees.
The Yellow Vests returned to Paris with all their anti-system anger, despite being a “red zone” for the coronavirus, and in two weak but violent demonstrations. Clouds of tear gas and grenades tried to slow down the advance of the militants, who were trying to get closer to their trophy: the avenue des Champs-Élysées, which looked like a fortress.
There were at least 200 people arrested, with the Vests distributed in the 9th, 17th and 16th neighborhood of Paris and in the Peripheral that surrounds the city. Demonstrations also took place in other cities in France, such as Marseille, Toulouse and Nantes.
A previously impoverished middle class and now unemployed as a result of the coronavirus it advanced in savage demonstrations, which had been authorized by the authorities, but not in the paths that some took. None reached the destination established by the authorities.
They were joined by Anti masks militants, the Disco Opening Pro and the Black Blocs, dressed in black, who openly confront the police with urban guerrilla techniques.
The mobilization was obliged to comply with Covid 19 regulations: mandatory social distance and chinstraps. The police had to “keep their distance and use force gradually and proportionately”, according to the new rules of the Interior Ministry.
Two marches set out: one from the Place de la Bourse and the other from Wagran, with a ban on approaching the Champs-Elysées, which in previous marches had become a battlefield.
The other forbidden areas were the Ile de la Cité and the Hotel Matignon. “I am democracy” was the common slogan.
The two marches joined and were controlled by the Blacks Blocs, the anarchist group.
In the place de Wagram, a savage demonstration advanced, burned a car and garbage cans. The Blacks Blocs copied it and confronted the police, who fired the new authorized grenades and gases. They sought to reach the Arc de Triomphe and the avenue des Champs-Elysées, its symbol, guarded as for war and with prohibited access.
They advanced on the Place de la Etoile at the Arc de Triomphe and a group of about 100 people managed to get there. But they did not manage to enter the avenue.
In the first post-Covid march, the theory of security to guard the march has changed with the new interior minister, Gerald Darmarin. The official replaced GMD grenades with less dangerous ones and a new model to avoid serious injuries to protesters, who suffered serious mutilations in other marches.
Each law enforcement grenade carrier has “a supervisor” to handle “the proper use” of this weapon. A new status that strains the French police, already in conflict with the government.
Police prefect Didier Lallement warned that in the mobilization of the yellow vests “there can be no destruction or chaos on the Champs-Élysées.”
“Serenity must reign in this avenue, which is a showcase for our country. So I prohibited the demonstrations, ”he declared from the Place de la Etoile, when the demonstrations had already started.
The police traveled on their motorcycles with two troops on board. A mobile brigade that the Vests repudiate because it is highly effective in repression.
On social media, about 2,000 people said they would participate in the march on the Champs-Elysées and 7,000 were interested, according to the Facebook page.