Yellow Vest protests continue in France for the 19th straight weekend. In Paris, they have been banned from demonstrating on the Champs-Elysees, and those daring to violate the ban face fines.
Following the previous violent weekend, French authorities have banned the Yellow Vests from the most popular protest locations, including the Champs-Elysees in Paris, Pey-Berland square in Bordeaux, and the Capitole in Toulouse.
According to official figures from the Ministry of Interior, turnout at the protests was modest, with 8,300 people demonstrating across France, including 3,100 in Paris.
The ban on protesting on the Champs-Elysees and the surrounding area was announced by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday. Those who violate the ban face fines of up to €135. Demonstrators steered clear of the iconic avenue itself, but gathered in central Paris, heading towards Montmartre.
Upon reaching Montmartre, the Yellow Vests gathered at the stairs of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, waving flags and displaying banners.
Protesters have draped the iconic Basilica with yellow cloth, a correspondent with RT France reported.
— Jonathan Moadab (@Moadab_RTfr) March 23, 2019
So far, the protest has been peaceful, and no major clashes between demonstrators and police have occurred. Around 50 people have been detained in the French capital, according to police.
In Nice, where Yellow Vest protests have been completely banned, law enforcement detained 20 individuals for taking part in unauthorized gatherings.
In other cities, law enforcement deployed tear gas in efforts to disperse the crowds. Gas plumes were spotted in central Metz.
— Digital Metz (@DigitalMetz) March 23, 2019
As well as Montpellier.
— Midi Libre Montpellier (@MLMontpellier) March 23, 2019