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Police use tear gas, water cannon during “yellow vests” anniversary protest

Some protesters, often masked and clad in black, set garbage cans, electric scooters and cars ablaze, while also destroying the windows of a bus station and an HSBC bank branch.

Firefighters rushed to put out the fires as they were lit, while riot police mostly remained on the edges of the large square Place d’Italie where the protesters were contained.

Authorities withdrew their approval for the demonstration as of 1400 (1300GMT) and dozens of protesters were arrested.

The so-called yellow vest protests erupted in mid-November 2018 originally over fuel price hikes and the high cost of living but spiralled into a broader movement against President Emmanuel Macron and his drive for economic reforms.

Protests have lost strength in recent months, going from tens of thousands of participants to just a few thousand, but its leaders called to re-mobilise this Saturday, to celebrate the first anniversary.

At its peak in late 2018, the movement grew to up to 300,000 people.

(Production: Udi Kivity, Yonathan van der Woort, Johnny Cotton, Manuel Ausloos)

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