Paris tense ahead of protests

French troops deployed in Paris amid ‘yellow vest’ protest

France gears up to face new riots; Paris shuts down

Paris is on lock-down as armed police brace for another confrontation with "yellow vest" protesters in a fourth weekend of demonstrations over living costs.

Across France, 89,000 police officers will be on duty and armoured vehicles will be deployed in the capital, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced.

Mr Macron's government had warned that the yellow vest protests had created a "monster" and the Paris actions would be hijacked by "radicalised and rebellious" crowds to become the most unsafe yet after three weeks of demonstrations.

French authorities will close dozens of museums, tourism sites and shops on Saturday, including the Eiffel Tower and Louvre, fearing a recurrence of last week's violence in Paris, officials said on Thursday.

Macron on Wednesday agreed to abandon the fuel tax hike, which aimed to wean France off fossil fuels and uphold the Paris climate agreement, but that hasn't defused the anger.

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

Mr Macron said his motivation for the increase was environmental, but protesters accused him of being out of touch.

Shops, museums, the Eiffel Tower and many metro stations were closed, while top-flight football matches and concerts have been cancelled.

As a precaution, almost 300 people were arrested ahead of Saturday's expected disturbances, the report said. On Friday night he met riot police being deployed in Paris on Saturday.

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.

The climbdown over the fuel tax - meant to help France move to a greener economy - marks a major shift for Mr Macron, who has previously vowed not to be swayed, like previous presidents, by large street protests.




The police, who are out in the city in full force, have made the arrests during the morning and early afternoon in which has been a much more proactive approach than in previous weeks. 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 were milling around the Arc de Triomphe monument, which was defaced with graffiti last Saturday, when rioters also torched cars and looted shops.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told news site Brut today: "We have prepared a robust response". Subway stations in the centre of town were shut down.

France has been gripped by rallies as Yellow Vests demand new concessions from the government.

But his climbdown on fuel taxes - meant to help France transition to a greener economy - marks a major departure for a leader who had prided himself on not giving into street protests.

"We are not here to destroy Paris, we are here to tell Macron we are f-king fed up", said one protester before the clashes with the police began, adding that the people are protesting ever-increasing taxes on the working class.

"People do not want to pay large sums of money.in order to maybe protect the environment", he tweeted.

The protesters began blocking roads, fuel depots and shopping centres around France on November 17 over soaring petrol prices that have hit people in the provinces who get around by auto.

The protests, named after the high-visibility safety vests French motorists are required to keep in their cars, erupted in November over the squeeze on household budgets caused by fuel taxes.

Yellow Vest mayhem has hit the country for the 4th consecutive weekend.

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