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'Yellow Vest protests': Death toll climbs to ten but demonstrations subside across France

'Yellow Vest protests': Death toll climbs to ten but demonstrations subside across France
By Robert Hackwill
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Numbers are down around France and with the exception of a couple of hotspots, protests have been peaceful as the Christmas holiday season hits its stride.


A man died in France when his car struck a roadblock set up by 'yellow vest' protesters in Perpignan on Friday evening.

However, protesters changed tactics on Saturday for the day of action in Paris billed as Act V of what have been violent confrontations in the capital.

Initially, Paris was quiet as turnout was much lower, but then pop-up protests began, catching the police on the hop, at the Louvre, around the statue of Jeanne d'Arc, or in Montmartre.

No group numbered more than a few hundred, all streets remained open and fewer shops were boarded up. The Avenue Champs Elysees, the scene of pitched street battles in recent weeks, was busy with shoppers and tourists outnumbering the few Yellow Vests present.

Police did make at least 109 arrests, including one of the movement's leaders, Eric Drouet.

Outside Paris, a planned demonstration at the palace of Versailles attracted just a handful of demonstrators. It had been shut in advance for the day.

This is the sixth straight week of protests, and concessions made by President Macron appear to have taken the sting out of the movement.

But it has cost lives; the latest - the 36 year-old-man who died - is one of ten deaths reported since clashes began.

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