PARIS – Retailers on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées 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.
The famed thoroughfare is home to brands including Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Guerlain, Sephora, Gap Inc., Apple and Nike, among others.
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 policemen 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