PARIS — Retailers on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées were counting the damages on Sunday after a day of violent clashes between police and protesters opposed to the policies of French President Emmanuel Macron.
“It looks like a war zone,” Jeanne d’Hauteserre, the mayor of the French capital’s 8th arrondissement, told French radio station France Info.
Protesters erected barricades, burnt cars, ripped up pavements and vandalized stores during a 12-hour standoff that left 24 injured, including five police officers, according to the French Interior Ministry. Police responded with water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets.
Macron condemned the acts of violence.
“Thank you to our law enforcement officers for their courage and professionalism. Shame on those who attacked them. Shame on those who assaulted fellow citizens and journalists. Shame on those who tried to intimidate elected officials,” he said on Twitter.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner praised police officers for their handling of the clashes, noting the injury toll could have been much worse.
An estimated 106,000 people took part in protests across France organized by the so-called “gilets jaunes,” or “yellow vests,” grassroots movement, which began as a protest against fuel taxes and has since grown to encompass a range of demands.
An estimated 5,000 demonstrators descended onto the Champs-Élysées after being denied access to the Place de la Concorde, which is close to the Élysée presidential palace, for security reasons. Police arrested more than 100 people in Paris.