TEHRAN (Press Shia) – French officials warn that violence could flare up on the 23rd Saturday of Yellow Vest marches, with protesters angry that nearly €1 billion was pledged to restore the Notre-Dame cathedral while their demands remain unsatisfied.
Tens of thousands of police have been deployed across France as the country braces for the 23rd round of protests. Demonstrators have expressed ire that French billionaires could help the cathedral but not the poor, Deutsche Welle reported.
A total of 60,000 police were deployed across France on Saturday as the country prepared for the latest protest by the “gilets jaunes” or Yellow Vest demonstrators.
At least 5,000 police were being stationed in Paris alone, as authorities warned protesters to keep away from Notre Dame cathedral and the banks of the Seine.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said at a press conference on Friday that he believed extremists and vandals were planning to continue their campaign of rioting, setting fires, and looting — along the lines of scenes on the Champs Elysee in March.
The protest over income and tax inequality had been scheduled before this week’s devastating fire at Notre Dame, which caused the landmark’s spire to collapse and most of its roof to fall in. It took firefighters four days to stabilize the building, and they only finally left on Friday night.
President Emmanuel Macron had been due to announce a plan to address some of the demonstrators’ concerns on the evening that the fire broke out.
According to Le Monde, on Saturday, the yellow vests were taking two routes across Paris, one starting at the basilica of Saint-Denis and the other at the Jussieu Campus of the Sorbonne, after more central routes were prohibited by police. The marchers were set to converge around noon at Madeleine, to walk down the Champs-Elysees and march on the Elysee Palace, the presidential residence.