The Saturday meeting of "yellow vests" in Angers, which gathered about 2,500 people, ended with violence after it started peacefully, an AFP photographer said.
Four people were arrested, said the prefecture, to indicate a few minor injuries among the police and to mention two protesters who were affected by the emanations of tear gas.
The prefecture also mentions an attempt at fire against the Banque de France and damage to the tramway.
The demonstrators also set fire to barricades, including construction equipment, the photographer noted.
"Tonight I have a feeling of anger and nausea", said in a statement the mayor of Angers, Christophe Béchu (ex-LR), who reported "a lot of degradations" in the city center and "an unacceptable turning point" in the movement of "yellow cardigans" to denounce.
For his part, Matthieu Orphelin, LREM delegate from Maine-et-Loire, has announced that he will suspend his trade with the "yellow vests" because of this violence. "Most yellow vests did not immediately distance themselves from this violence and many remained where the situation escalated despite the commitments made.The safety margin was not respected despite the commitments made," he said in a statement.
During a large part of the afternoon, however, the rally had gone peacefully. At the end of the afternoon, the police had spread with tear gas grenades and water cannon "yellow vests" trying to approach the prefecture, the photographer had noted.
The event in Angers was announced as an event for the entire Pays-de-la-Loire region. But another rally brought together between 800 and 900 "yellow vests" in Nantes, according to the Loire-Atlantique prefecture.
Eight people were arrested, said the same source, citing "some friction" with the forces ordered.