Police in Paris detain 320 people ahead of 'yellow vest' protest

Paris riots

We will keep you up to date with developments throughout the day after last weekend's protests saw the capital's worst street unrest in more than half a century and France's young centrist president, Emmanuel Macron, faces the stiffest challenge of his term so far.

Already dozens of tax offices across the country have been attacked and mass protests are planned in Paris and other cities. In response, "Macron, resign!" has become the main slogan of the "yellow vest" demonstrators.

They also put up a barricade near the Franco-Belgian border close to Adinkerque, Belga said.

French police, wearing riot gear, tried to stop and search protesters entering the Champs Elysees, but such efforts were eventually abandoned with the flow of thousands of demonstrators.

Prized Paris monuments and normally bustling shopping meccas were locked down Saturday at the height of the holiday shopping season.

"The troublemakers can only be effective when they disguise themselves as yellow vests".

Macron's eco-cred took another hit this week when his government announced it would abandon his carbon-friendly fuel-tax hikes to appease Yellow Vest protesters, a move environmental activists considered a "retreat".

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 with graffiti directed at President Emmanuel Macron.

About 8,000 police will be deployed across Paris, equipped with a dozen barricade-busting armored vehicles that could be used for the first time in a French urban area since riots in 2005.

The yellow vests include people with views that range from the far right to the far left.

About 100 have been detained, many for possessing risky objects like fireworks or wearing clothing that could be used as protection in clashes with police.

"We are here to tell (Macron) our discontent". Footage showing the brutal arrest of high school students protesting outside Paris is causing a stir ahead of further anti-government protests this weekend.

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.

"I want clean air and clean water and have been making great strides in improving America's environment".

Interior minister Christophe Castaner said Friday that 151 people were arrested in the small town, adding that some of them carried weapons.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Friday met a delegation of self-described "moderate" yellow vests, and a spokesman from the movement, Christophe Chalencon, said the premier had "listened to us and promised to take our demands to the president".

People began blockading roads on November 17 over rising fuel prices - partly due to taxes aimed at helping France to transition to a greener economy.

The yellow vest movement is crossing borders, with demonstrations planned in neighboring Belgium and in the Netherlands.

Shops and tourist destinations, including the Eiffel Tower, were closed and soccer matches were canceled as authorities looked to maintain order.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning to comment on the ongoing riots in Paris, placing the blame for the protests on the Paris Agreement from which the U.S. withdrew a year ago.

His morning tweet came in the middle of UN climate talks in Poland, where almost 200 nations have gathered to agree on a universal rulebook to make good on the promises they signed up to in the 2015 Paris climate deal.



Other news