“Yellow vests”, who take their their name from the high-visibility jackets they wear, hurled stones and wooden planks at police, who responded with tear gas and baton charges.
“Casseurs”, or troublemakers, smashed the windows of banks, shops and estate agencies and torched cars around the Champs-Elysées and on the Left Bank. Many businesses were shuttered.
Protesters who masked their faces with scarves or balaclavas clashed with police in other cities including Bordeaux.
About 2,000 protesters have been injured, at least 100 seriously, and 1,000 police officers have been hurt since the unrest began, according to government figures. Eleven people have died, most of them in road accidents at blockades in the early days of the protests.
Several protesters and a police officer have lost eyes, including one of the figureheads of the “gilets jaunes”, Jérôme Rodrigues, who said he was hit by a 44 mm “defence ball” last month.
Eric Drouet, another “yellow vest” leader, said the incident justified an “unprecedented mass uprising”.
Police arrested at least 30 people on Saturday. The Interior Ministry said about 51,400 people had taken to the streets, including 4,000 in Paris. The figure is well below the 280,000 who demonstrated at height of protests.