YELLOW vest protesters have demonstrated across France this weekend to mark the one-year anniversary of the birth of the movement.

Protesters hoped to breathe new life into the “gilets jaunes” movement with actions taking place yesterday in Paris, and at traffic circles across the country where the movement first took root in November 2018.

Police were deployed at key sites in Paris yesterday. Dozens of officers in riot gear guarded the Arc de Triomphe overlooking the Champs-Élysées, a scene of weekly rioting and police crackdowns at the height of protests last year.

Some protesters were seen throwing stones at officers and setting fire to bins, a motorcycle and other urban equipment on Place d’Italie, in the south east of Paris.

The windows of a bank and several bus shelters in the area were also broken, leading to several police charges.

Police removed protesters trying to block the bypass around Paris and fired tear gas at groups gathered near Porte de Champerret, in the north west, and at Place d’Italie.

By the early afternoon, 46 people had been detained.

Some protesters in Paris wore the high-visibility vests drivers are required to carry in their cars that gave the movement its name. Other demonstrators wore all black, their faces protected with gas masks.

Waving French flags, blowing whistles, and beating drums, some demonstrators marching in the north-western Paris streets sang their trademark song: “We are here, we are here. Even if Macron doesn’t want it, we are here.”

Rosa Drissi, who joined the movement on its first day, said she struggles to make ends meet with just €800 per month. She said she was protesting “for my retirement, and for my buying power.”

Drissi said the movement has evolved since the start: “We were novices at the beginning. We didn’t know politics; we didn’t know how to be in the streets. We didn’t know how to protest,” she said.

“We made errors, we made mistakes. That’s normal.”

Corentin Pihel said he travelled to Paris from Montpellier to mark the movement’s anniversary this weekend.

He joined the yellow vest movement two weeks after it began, identifying with its mission as a struggling student at the time.

“In the beginning, I found that the movement made a lot of sense, to mobilise from the bottom for better buying power,” Pihel said.

“But after, it enlarged its communication to become much greater – it’s just people who want to live. And I felt a real solidarity.”

In the southern city of Marseille, yellow-vested protesters gathered at traffic circles to remind the government of their discontent.

The yellow vest movement began a year ago to protest plans to raise fuel taxes and other government policies seen to favour the rich.

The outpouring of anger at perceived social and economic injustice eventually prompted President Emmanuel Macron to reverse some of his tax plans and offer €10 billion for measures to address protesters’ concerns. The French government also pledged to cut taxes for households next year by €9bn, a spending boost that has its roots in the yellow vest movement.