Clashes, Hundreds Detained in France Amid New 'Yellow Vest' Protests

Clashes, Hundreds Detained in France Amid New 'Yellow Vest' Protests

Clashes, Hundreds Detained in France Amid New 'Yellow Vest' Protests

Protester Guillaume Le Grac, 28, told Reuters: "We have come here for a peaceful march, not to smash things". An AP video journalist was wounded in the leg as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets on the Champs-Elysees. That's because the yellow-vest movement has galvanized support for protests via social networks, particularly Facebook, with a potent mix of genuine stories of suffering caused by real failings of the French government and a raft of conspiracy theories and hoaxes - including the viral rumor that a non-binding United Nations pact on migration would soon put France under UN administration, so that millions of migrants could be resettled to replace the native-born population. Offshoot movements have emerged elsewhere, and yellow-vest protests were held Saturday in Belgium and the Netherlands. Some protesters took aim at the French border with Italy, creating a huge traffic backup near the town of Ventimiglia.

About 89,000 police were deployed across France on Saturday, some 8,000 of them in Paris. It did not succeed, even though it was better prepared.

Shops around the Champs-Elysees boarded up their windows and emptied them of merchandise, while the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay and other museums were shut.

"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 Friday.

Hundreds of people gathered early Saturday around the Arc de Triomphe, which was damaged in rioting a week ago.

The Eiffel Tower will also be closed on Saturday due to the protests, the site's operator SETE said, warning that it could not ensure security for visitors.

The students were detained by police in the Paris suburb of Mantes-la-Jolie, in unrest that has spread to dozens of schools during three weeks of anti-government demonstrations.

Macron announced earlier this week that planned hikes in petrol and diesel taxes, which sparked the protest movement, would be cancelled. "The president will speak, and will propose measures that will feed this dialogue". "He has a direct responsibility in what is happening".

Last weekend's violence, in which 200 cars were torched and the Arc de Triomphe vandalised, shook France and plunged Macron's government into its deepest crisis so far.

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Mr Macron said his motivation for the increase was environmental, but protesters accused him of being out of touch. "People don't want to stop because we want the President to go".

"Protests and riots all over France".

Paris police also reportedly asked dozens of shops and restaurants around the Champs Elysees and Bastille, which have been some of the main spots of the protests, to close.

"I was running with my hands up". He only gave his first name, saying he feared being tracked by security authorities. Police then used water cannons in a bid to disperse the crowd.

Out of the media spotlight, Macron met Friday night with riot police being deployed in Paris Saturday.

Since his election in 2016, Trump has cultivated a fractious relationship with most Western leaders, regularly clashing with them over the role of supranational bodies such as the WTO, or the International Criminal Court, and issues like trade, emissions and immigration. One sign read "No climate justice without fiscal and social justice". Macron, he said, "is not strong enough". Rampaging groups last weekend threw cobblestones through Paris storefronts and looted valuables in some of the city's richest neighborhoods.

Cyril, a garbage truck driver in Normandy who earns 1,430 euros ($1,625) a month, said Macron's mistake was trying to reform France too quickly. "He's done more in 18 months than the others in 30 years".

The unrest started in November, spurred by anger over Macron's controversial hike in gas taxes, which were meant to reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuels and to mitigate the effects of climate change in accordance with the Paris climate agreement. "Take care of Paris on Saturday because Paris belongs to all the French people".

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