Protesters tarnished France’s National day

French police fired tear gas at protesters during a tense standoff in central Paris on Sunday in the aftermath of the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees, news wires reported. Officers attempted to disperse dozens of protesters, who chanted anti-government slogans, knocked down security barriers erected for the parade and set fire to refuse bins.

France, in particular Paris, has been rocked since late last year by the "yellow vest" protest movement against the government of President Emmanuel Macron. Sunday's violence was the worst seen in central Paris since March. Many analysts had believed that the yellow vest movement had lost momentum. But the demonstrators in central Paris were not wearing the yellow vests that marked out the movement. Police had earlier not allowed those wearing the garments past barriers and some had carried yellow balloons instead. The clashes tarnished the July 14 national day that commemorates the 1789 storming of the Bastille fortress in Paris during the French Revolution and is marked every year by a military parade. Before the current clashes erupted, Paris authorities said 152 people had been detained. But the parade, which wrapped up at lunchtime, then passed without any hitch.

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