Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Scuffles and tear gas as riot police clamp down on Paris protest

Scuffles and tear gas as riot police clamp down on Paris protest

Saturday´s comment was not the first time Trump had used the Paris "yellow vest" protests - which began on November 17 with road blockades against fuel prices but have since ballooned into a mass movement against French President Emmanuel Macron - to slam the climate deal.

There have been 8,000 officers and 12 armoured vehicles sent into Paris today as more than 1,000 people gathered in the city centre.

Almost 90,000 police and gendarmes have been mobilised across the country, around 8,000 of them in the capital, officials have said, alongside a dozen VBRG armoured vehicles.

Macron's government warned that Saturday's "yellow vest" protests in Paris will be hijacked by "radicalized and rebellious" crowds and become the most unsafe yet after three weeks of demonstrations.

Nationwide, about 89,000 police will fan out in the streets, an increase from 65,000 last weekend, when more than 130 people were injured and over 400 arrested as the protests degenerated into the worst street violence to hit the French capital in decades.

One participant, Christophe Chalancon, told reporters the prime minister "listened to us". The Eiffel Tower and famous museums the Musee d'Orsay and the Louvre are closed.

"This movement has revealed how millions of French people live", said Jacline Mouraud, whose YouTube tirade in October over rising fuel prices propelled her to the fore of the revolt.

After two weekends of violence in Paris that made the authorities look powerless, police went into overdrive Saturday to keep a lid on unrest.

Demonstrators waving French flags, shouting the French anthem and wearing the movement's signature neon vests gathered before dawn Saturday near the Arc de Triomphe, then tried to march down the Champs-Elysees Avenue toward the presidential palace.

Macron on Wednesday agreed to abandon the fuel tax increase, but the protesters' anger at his government has not abated.

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Nigel Farage said the violent protests that have broken out across France are a sign of the growing disconnect between the country's citizens and its elites.

In Lyon, authorities said there were 7000 people who participated in Saturday morning's march.

Of these, about 8,000 were deployed in Paris to avoid a repeat of last Saturday's mayhem when rioters torched cars and looted shops off the famed Champs Elysees boulevard, and defaced the Arc de Triomphe monument with graffiti directed at President Emmanuel Macron. Subway stations in the centre of town were shut down.

By 8.40 am (0740 GMT) police had already detained 278 people.

But the yellow vests, many of whom who have become increasingly radicalised, are holding out for more. So the protesters tried other routes, marching through the prime shopping district that includes the high-end stores of Galeries Lafayette and Printemps and the Palais Garnier opera house. Hundreds of protesters, including the movement's leader, were detained during the demonstrations.

"According to the information we have, some radicalized and rebellious people will try to get mobilized tomorrow", Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told a news conference.

Prominent "yellow vest" protester Benjamin Cauchy has called on Mr Macron to meet a delegation to defuse a situation that he said had brought France "to the brink of insurrection and civil war".

Peaceful yellow-vest protests have also began in the Netherlands.

"People do not want to pay large sums of money.in order to maybe protect the environment", he tweeted. Police removed any materials from the streets that could be used as weapons, especially at construction sites in high-risk areas.

Macron's "cardinal sin", in the eyes of the protesters, was slashing wealth taxes shortly after taking office.

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