'Yellow vest' protests across France trigger spurts of violence, calls for calm

"Yellow vest" demonstrators march in Paris on Saturday

Paris (CNN)French authorities appealed for calm on Saturday as spurts of unrest erupted across France in the latest gilets jaunes, or "yellow vest," protests.

About 50,000 people demonstrated, according to Interior Minister Christophe Castaner. Large gatherings were held in Paris, Bordeaux and Marseilles.
In Paris, 3,500 people participated in protests on Saturday, much higher than the 800 who took to the streets last week, police said. At least 34 people were taken in for questioning in the capital city.
    Benjamin Griveaux, government spokesman, confirmed that he and his team had to evacuate his office in Paris after demonstrators broke into his courtyard by knocking down the door with construction machinery.
    A protester in Marseille holds a flare in front of the town hall.
    Violence was reported in Montpellier and Troyes, where demonstrators tried to enter prefectures, and in Avignon, where some attempted to break into the Court of Justice. Violence was also reported in Beauvais, authorities said.
    The protests are named after the yellow high-visibility jackets French motorists must carry in their vehicles.
    They have morphed from dissent over rising gas prices and eco-taxes into a broader demonstration against President Emmanuel Macron and his government, and tensions between the metropolitan elite and rural poor.