Gilets jaunes protesters have been branded a “disgrace” by the government after a weekend of unrest that saw shops smashed, cars burned, and security forces told to “kill themselves” by some protesters.
Minister for the interior Christophe Castaner condemned the actions of a group of protesters captured on video by a nearby journalist.
The group – only some of which were wearing the distinctive yellow vest – were heard to be shouting “kill yourselves”, and other insults, to the law enforcement officers, in Place de la République in Paris.
The video emerged during the 23rd consecutive Saturday of the gilets jaunes movement.
It comes as suicide rates in the law enforcement community have been rising. Since January this year, 29 police officers have died by suicide.
In response to the video, Mr Castaner tweeted: “Shame on those who have behaved with such disgrace. Total support to our mobilised officers and their families. The vast majority of French people know what they owe them.”
The clash comes amid new violence during this weekend’s protests.
Several injuries were reported among protesters, with 14 injuries counted among members of law enforcement. There were 227 arrests, 163 people taken into custody, and 20,518 issued warnings.
According to government figures – always contested by protesters themselves – there were 27,900 people in total out across France, including 9,000 in Paris.
This marks a slight drop from the 31,000 overall last weekend, but a spike in Paris, after around 5,000 were counted in the capital last week.
The centre of Lyon, the Place du Capitole in Toulouse, and the Champs-Elysees, were all subject to a ban on protests, after the measure was first introduced in March this year.
Bordeaux, Montpellier and Toulouse also saw significant protests of 1,500-3,500 people this weekend, while several hundred gathered in Marseille, Rouen, and Lille.
In Paris especially, protesters were understood to be demanding “a new ultimatum” to President Emmanuel Macron in the days following the Notre-Dame fire.