‘Yellow vest’ protesters in Paris damaged an estimated 200-plus businesses on December 1

Over 200 businesses were damaged in Paris on December 1 in the wake of the ‘gilet jaunes’ (yellow vest) demonstrations, according to a report published on Wednesday by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI).


A shop window gets smashed during the ‘yellow vest’ demonstrations in Paris on December 1 - Alain JOCARD / AFP/Archives

“142 businesses were severely affected (smashed shop windows, flare damage, theft, etc.) leading in some cases to their closing down,” stated the Paris-Ile de France CCI in a press release, adding that “95 business were less severely affected, their shop windows slashed, scratched, tagged or damaged by paint, their Christmas decorations ruined.”

On Saturday December 1, Paris witnessed scenes of guerrilla warfare, with protesters causing massive damage. Most of the vandalism occurred in the French capital’s central areas, from the Champs-Élysées to the Louvre, Opéra and Place de la Bastille neighbourhoods.

CCI underlined that “a significant number of bank branches were damaged,” and several cash machines were destroyed.

“Even if not hit by material damage, some businesses lamented a decrease in footfall due to the distress felt by customers (especially tourists), while purchases usually made in this period by local customers are being postponed,” said CCI.

Last Monday, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo estimated that the damages caused by the violence which accompanied the demonstrations would amount to between “€3 and €4 million” for “street furniture” alone, excluding commercial property.

The authorities fear a new wave of protests could take place on Saturday, as appeals to mobilise for a fourth Saturday in succession are ringing out across France. Éric Drouet, one of the most notorious ‘yellow vest’ protesters, called for a “return to Paris, to the seats of power, the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde.”

Translated by Nicola Mira

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