This weekend's protests coincided with a bakery explosion that killed three people close to the protest area. (AP: Thibault Camus)
Paris police fired water cannons and tear gas to repel "yellow vest" protesters around the Arc de Triomphe monument in the ninth protest weekend against the economic reforms by French President Emmanuel Macron.
- Central Paris was blocked for the ninth weekend, with parliament and Elysee barricaded
- Protesters continued their demands for President Emmanuel Macron to resign
- Mr Macron will launch a broad national debate to address some of the concerns of the movement
Thousands of protesters marched noisily but peacefully through the Grands Boulevards shopping area in northern Paris, near where an unexploded gas explosion in a bakery killed two firefighters and one Spanish, wounding about 50 at the beginning of Saturday
Central Paris was en bloc against another dreaded eruption of violence by radical elements in the "gilet jaunes" (yellow v est ), with bridges over the Seine closed and official buildings such as parliament and the presidential palace of the Elysée protected by police barriers
About 80,000 French policemen were deployed nationwide to quell the protests. (AP: Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Groups of protesters gathered around the famous boulevard of the Champs Elysees in Paris, scene of unrest in recent weeks, many of which loudly demanded that President Macron resign.
"Macron, we will take down your seat!" A bed banner.
Around the 19th century Triumphal Arch at the top of the Champs Elysees, riot police unleashed water and tear gas cannons at militant protesters in the yellow jersey after being targeted with stones and paint, witnesses said.
In the middle of the afternoon there were no serious clashes with the police, unlike the previous weeks.
More than 50 people were arrested in Paris, some for the transport of objects that could be used as weapons.
There were also thousands of protesters in the cities of Bordeaux and Toulon in the south of France and in Strasbourg in the east and central city of Bourges
The authorities of Bourges said that about 5,000 yellow jackets were attached to the 39, designated demonstration area, but another 500 pushed into the center of the city that was forbidden to demonstrators.
Many companies in Bourges were huddled to avoid the damage caused by protesters and authorities removed the street furniture and construction materials that could be used for barricades.
In Strasbourg, up to 2000 protesters gathered in front of the European Parliament building and later marched to the city center on the Rhine river border with Germany.
The protesters are still trying to overthrow Macron
The protesters continue to argue against Mr. Macron's policies, while his administration claims otherwise. (AP: Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Protesters set fire to garbage cans and police fired tear gas grenades, but no violence or looting was reported.
More than 80,000 policemen were on duty for nationwide protests, including 5,000 in Paris.
"Yellow jackets" take their name from the high visibility jackets they wear on the barricades of the road and on the street.
Their anger comes from a tightening on household income and the belief that Mr. Macron, a former investment banker considered close to large companies, is indifferent to their difficulties.
Mr. Macron, often criticized for a grandiose way, is to launch a national debate on January 15 to try to quell the protesters of the yellow jersey, whose riots have shaken his administration.
The debate, which will be held on the internet and in the municipalities, will focus on four themes: taxes, green energy, institutional reform and citizenship.
But Macron's assistants said that changing the course of reforms to liberalize the economy will be off limits.
conflict-war and disorder,