Police Arrest People as Shop is Looted in Paris

Police Arrest People as Shop is Looted in Paris

Amid heightened tensions, police seized 28 petrol bombs and three homemade explosive devices Friday at an area blockaded by protesters in Montauban in southern France, a spokesman for the Tarn-et-Garonne prefecture told CNN.

A ring of steel surrounded the Elysee Palace as police stationed trucks and reinforced steel barriers in streets throughout the entire neighbourhood.

Last weekend, more than 130 people were injured and over 400 were arrested in the worst street violence seen in Paris in decades. An AP video journalist was wounded in the leg as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets on the Champs-Elysees. Angry protesters on Saturday tried to rip the boards off.

He vowed "zero tolerance" towards those aiming to wreak further destruction and mayhem, after dozens of vehicles were torched, shops looted and the Arc de Triomphe war memorial was wrecked last Saturday.

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

Many protesters slammed the French media for portraying the protests as led by violent agitators and for siding with Macron's government. Subway stations in the centre of town were shut down.

Around 70 people were arrested Saturday, December 8 in the Belgian capital Brussels during copycat "yellow vest" demonstrations rocking neighboring France, police said.

Macron agreed to abandon the fuel tax hike, but that has not defused the anger, embodied by the fluorescent safety vests French motorists are required to keep in their cars.

As the day of news wrapped up Trump sent another message calling it a "very sad day & night in Paris" and proposing one more time to abolish the "ridiculous and extremely expensive" Paris agreement.

Protesters who travelled to Paris from Normandy described seeing officers block yellow-vested passengers from boarding at stops along their route. The national gendarme service posted a video on Twitter of police tackling a protester and confiscating his unsafe material, which appeared to be primarily a tennis racket.

The "yellow vest" movement has been spurred by anger in small-town and rural France at rising auto fuel taxes which were aimed at helping the country transition to a greener economy, but which protesters say hurts the poor.

But many "yellow vests" are urging fresh protests this weekend, saying a string of government concessions are not enough.

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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. At least two protesters were detained by police in central Amsterdam.

Authorities deployed barricade-busting armoured vehicles and 8,000 police in the capital alone.

The operators of landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre and Orsay museums said they would be closed, along with operas, theatres, libraries and major department stores. The group has no leaders but is united in its feeling that Macron and his government are out of touch with the concerns of ordinary French families.

Some of Mr Macron's critics call him "the president of the rich".

In eastern Paris, in Republique Square, protests were more quiet with no incident.

Deputy interior minister Laurent Nunez said an estimated 31,000 people were taking part in protests nationwide, including 8,000 in Paris - similar numbers to last week. "Yellow vests" representatives announce they will not go to a meeting with Philippe planned the following day - later cancelled - as some say they have received death threats.

Since the anti-government unrest began on November 17 in reaction to a sharp increase in diesel taxes, four people have been killed in protest-related accidents.

"Protests and riots all over France", Trump said.

Protesters also blocked roads, traffic roundabouts and highway tollbooths elsewhere in France and offshoot movements emerged in Belgium and the Netherlands.

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Saturday once again attacked the Paris agreement on fighting climate change, citing the ongoing protests in the French capital as proof that he was right to reject the pact.

"People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment".

Underpinning the movement is a widespread complaint that overlooked provincial workers on modest incomes barely scrape by after paying some of the highest tax bills in Europe.

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