"There were flares being set off, and at one point there were a couple of loud bangs, and shortly after that one group of riot police started running towards the protestors," Ware said. "The protestors were mainly French, all the signs were in French, they looked like French political protestors. It looked like there were hundreds, rather than thousands."
Reporting from Paris, NPR's Peter Kenyon says that other activists have found creative ways around the gathering ban. One group lined up thousands of pairs of shoes at Place de la République.
Another group is creating a "human chain" to call for meaningful action to reduce fossil fuel emissions. Peter filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"At an artists' workshop on the outskirts of Paris, organizer David Solnit says besides hampering public events, police are using the state of emergency invoked after this month's terror attacks to target environmentalists
"'There's people being stopped on the street, I mean, we're basically in an authoritarian police state,' he said. "And the French government is particularly targeting activists.
"With the climate conference set to begin, France's interior minister says some two dozen green activists are under house arrest."
Along with leaders from nearly 200 countries, President Obama is flying to Paris to attend the conference, which is expected to produce a landmark international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an attempt to curb climate change.