Tear gas, water cannons, injuries: Chaos erupts in Nantes amid Yellow Vests rally (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)
Some 1,800 people took to the streets of the city on Saturday, according to police figures. This week, the Yellow Vests tried a different approach to the protests, avoiding the city's center and hitting different routes instead.
At some point protesters engaged in scuffles with law enforcement. The police extensively used tear gas to disperse the crowds, footage from the scene shows.
Water cannons were also deployed.
The protesters pelted police with various objects and even used Molotov cocktails.
Sur des images de l'agence #Ruptly, alors que les manifestants sont dans un nuage de gaz lacrymogènes, l'un d'eux lance ce qui semble être un cocktail Molotov, qui atterrit juste devant un camion des forces de l'ordre#Nantes#Acte44 ⚡️EN CONTINU :➡️ https://t.co/imug71hKkLpic.twitter.com/53mYwduQxl— RT France (@RTenfrancais) September 14, 2019
Although most of the demonstrators marched peacefully, there were around 400 people from the so called 'black block' attacking and damaging various venues, including a local McDonalds, smashing bus stops and setting dumpsters on fire.
At least two protesters and four police officers were injured in the scuffles.
Ahead of the rally, the police managed to seize a whole crate of Molotov cocktails, a handful of firecrackers and a haul of around one hundred umbrellas – which come in handy to hide from water cannons and tear gas canisters.
[#Acte44] contrôles préventifs sur réquisition du Procureur dès ce matin dans le centre-ville de #Nantes.Découverte et saisie de 22 cocktails Molotov en préparation dans 1 container poubelle rue Copernic à proximité de la place Delorme.#tousmobilisés#pourvotresécuritépic.twitter.com/s8NsmQNqpv— Police Nationale 44 (@PoliceNat44) September 14, 2019
[#Acte44] Face au risque important d’actions violentes dans le centre-ville de #Nantes cet après-midi, 18 interpellations ont été effectuées par nos services lors de contrôles préventifs. Découverte de mortiers rue de Gigant.Saisie d'1 centaine de parapluies & d'1 extincteur. pic.twitter.com/BLrQRSWQw4— Police Nationale 44 (@PoliceNat44) September 14, 2019
In fact, many things get one in trouble during the protests, as one man was detained by police apparently over merely carrying a tennis racket. During protests such sports implements are known to be used to hurl tear gas grenades back at police.
The protests were also held in other major cities across France. In Lyon, the gathering was also marred by scuffles with the police, that deployed tear gas to disperse the protesters.
In Toulouse, the yellow vests occupied a train station, getting onto the tracks in an attempt to disrupt the railroad.
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