Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in the fifth weekend of nationwide demonstrations against the governmentPolice were out in force, but say there were fewer people protesting than last week
In Paris, police were out in force to contain possible outbursts of violence. But several major stores, such as the Galeries Lafayette, were open to welcome Christmas shoppers.
Numbers were down compared with Saturday last week, a police source said.
Tear gas was fired at small groups of protesters in brief clashes with riot police near the Champs-Elysees.
Close by, a handful of topless activists from the feminist protest group Femen faced security forces a few meters away from the Elysee Palace, the president’s residence.
The “yellow vest” movement started in mid-November with protests at junctions and roundabouts against fuel tax increases, but quickly became a wider mobilisation against Macron’s economic policies.
Successive weekends of protests in Paris have lead to vandalism and violent clashes with security forces.
Loic Bollay, 44, marching on the Champs-Elysees in a yellow vest, said the protests were more subdued than in previous weeks but the movement would go on until the demonstrators’ grievances were addressed.

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