More violence has erupted across France just days after French authorities arrested a key organizer of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement.
After the protests began peacefully, Paris police deployed teargas and batons as protesters began to riot during the so-called 'Act VIII" Day of Rage, while marches were underway in several other cities across France and London. Protesters in Paris hurled objects at riot police manning bridge barricades over the Seine river, while garbage bins were torched along the upscale Boulevard Saint Germain.
#Update: Lots of tear gas being thrown towards the #GiletsJaunesprotestors on the #ChampsElysees in #Paris right now! #ActeVIIIpic.twitter.com/0djRrEdhWf
— Sotiri Dimpinoudis (@sotiridi) January 5, 2019
33-year-old Eric Drouet, one of the Yellow Vest movement's most high-profile leaders, was arrested on Wednesday night for leading an unauthorized demonstration, signaling a crackdown on the anti-government demonstrators after nearly two months of violence-filled protests.
Drouet, a truck driver from the suburbs of Paris, was arrested in Paris on Wednesday evening near the iconic Champs-Élysées avenue - a prime location for the yellow vests to gather. Drouet was detained while leading a commemoration of yellow vests who have died since the movement's inception, most of whom were hit by cars during protests at roundabouts throughout the country, according to the Wall Street Journal.