French police arrest gilets jaunes protests leader Eric Drouet

Police have detained one of the leaders of France’s gilets jaunes anti-government movement for organising an unauthorised protest, as authorities adopt a tougher approach to try to curb the demonstrations.

Eric Drouet, a lorry driver, already faces trial in June for “carrying a prohibited category D weapon”, after he was allegedly found with a wooden stick at a previous protest.

He was arrested by police on Wednesday night as he was heading towards the Champs Élysées in Paris, where several demonstrators had been waiting for him. They said they intended only to light candles for the people injured during demonstrations or killed in road accidents during the six weeks of protests on roads and roundabouts, which began in November as a fuel tax revolt but morphed into a movement against the president, Emmanuel Macron, and policies seen to favour the rich.