French riot police descended on Place de la République in central Paris on Sunday, firing tear gas on climate change activists who rallied despite a government ban on an organized march.
France’s interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 174 people were detained after protesters tried to force their way through a blockade at the famed square, which has been the scene of vigils since the Nov. 13 terror attacks that killed 130 people.
Cazeneuve said a total of 208 people had been arrested, but some were later released.
The planned march had been cancelled by the government in the wake of the terror assault on the French capital.
Photographs from the scene showed activists lobbing projectiles, including glass bottles and candles, toward police, who fired numerous rounds of tear gas to clear the crowd.
Protesters chanted “a state of emergency is a police state,” the Associated Press reported.
Earlier on Sunday, thousands of demonstrators had gathered peacefully in the French capital, forming a human chain along the route of the planned march.
Activists had also left empty shoes in the square to represent those unable to legally march.
Leaders from across the globe are gathering in the French capital this weekend ahead of the landmark COP21 climate summit which begins Monday.