Police use tear gas in Paris amid array of protests


Climate protesters marched through Paris for a second day on Saturday (local time) in a rally that saw sporadic clashes between masked demonstrators and police who also broke up "yellow vest" groups trying to stage unauthorised gatherings in the capital.

Some 7,500 police were deployed for the two protests, and they moved in quickly to target the hardline elements and dismantle the barricades, made from burning bins and construction materials.

After a relatively calm debut, a brief standoff erupted early Saturday morning when anti-riot police fired tear gas to prevent some demonstrators from cruising to adjacent streets.

By 1 pm, 106 demonstrators had been arrested, police said, adding that some had been found to carry hammers or petrol canisters.

The authorities had banned demonstrations in some areas of the city including tourism hotspot Champs-Elysees but some protesters violated the ban, leading to a tense standoff with police who used teargas and batons to scatter them. Paris police said no damage was registered by midday.

The movement emerged late past year, triggered by fuel tax rises and swelling into a revolt against President Emmanuel Macron's style of government.

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People take part in an anti-government demonstration called by the "yellow vest" (gilets jaunes) movement, on September 21, 2019 in Paris.

Paris Police Commissioner Didier Lallement had told reporters the police contingent Saturday would match that of the protests back in May, which turned violent with 38 people injured and 380 arrests. The public could only access the Elysee after pre-registering and passing security checks.

But anger is now mounting again over his plans to overhaul France's costly, convoluted pension system.

Some protesters were engaged in verbal altercation with police.

Among other sweeteners, he proposed "an economic and social emergency plan", worth 10 billion euros (11.02 billion USA dollars) to boost purchasing power.

Meanwhile, the far-left Workers Force union gathered thousands of protesters for a separate, peaceful march over concerns that government proposals will require people to work longer and reduce pensions.