Rioters looted and torched shops on the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris, on the 18th weekend of the Yellow Vest protests. The riots witnessed over 10,000 people participant.
Luxury jeweller Bulgari’s front windows were smashed, with further vandalism at Hugo Boss, Omega, Longchamp, and Lacoste. Police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse the protesters, which saw more than 120 people arrested, as per the BBC. The protesters grouped the Champs-Elysees, vandalised and later set fire to chic eatery Fouquet’s brasserie, a famous hangout of the rich and popular for the past century.
The rioters also looted several clothing stores and set fire to barricades in scenes reminiscent of the worst Yellow Vest riots in Paris in December.
The online protests began over fuel tax rises but have since developed into a broader revolt against perceived elitism.
France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said that more than 1,400 police officers had been mobilised and given police an order to respond to the “unacceptable attacks with the greatest firmness”. In his twit, Castaner mentioned: “Let there be no doubt: they are looking for violence and are there to sow chaos in Paris.”
About 80 shops on the French capital’s iconic avenue were damaged, with several cases of arson and looting, citing Jean-Noel Reinhardt, President of the committee of the Champs-Elysees.
Similarly, in December, Paris saw some of its most violent protests, forcing retailers to close the shops during the Christmas trading period. LVMH closed all its boutiques in the peak season, as did other luxury retailers including Kering and leading department stores.