Macron to hold emergency Cabinet meeting over Paris protests

03 December, 2018, 15:51 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • Paris fuel protests: Dozens arrested as 'yellow vest' demonstrations turn violent

Paris police say 133 people have been injured and 412 have been arrested as protesters trashed the streets of the capital during France's worst urban riot in years.

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said Saturday's violence was due to those who hijacked the protest, people who came "to loot, break and hit police forces".

In Paris, police said they had arrested nearly 300 people while 110 were injured, including 20 members of the security forces. In Paris, protesters sprayed the Arc de Triomphe with graffiti, overturned cars and set them on fire, and smashed store shop windows.

France is considering introducing a state of emergency after Saturday's riots in Paris and demonstrations across the country in protest over fuel prices rises and the cost of living.

The president and his ministers must now decide what action to take in response to a turn of events that in its drama and violence has shocked the country.

Charred cars, broken windows and downed fences from the riot littered numerous city's most popular tourist areas on Sunday, including major avenues near the Arc de Triomphe, streets around the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue, and the Tuileries garden.

Protesters walk by burning cars during clashes with riot police on the sideline of a protest of Yellow vests (Gilets jaunes) against rising oil prices and living costs, on December 1, 2018 in Paris.

Officials estimated between 1,500 and 3,000 people infiltrated the Paris protest intent on causing destruction and attacking police.

He told Europe 1 radio the government is considering imposing a state of emergency.

A demonstrator watches a burning auto near the Champs-Elysees avenue during a demonstration Saturday, Dec.1, 2018 in Paris.

Another building was set on fire on a major avenue near the Arc de Triomphe and protesters stole an assault rifle from a police vehicle in the centre of the city.

The "yellow vest" protests which started as a reaction to additional tax on fuel in France have turned into an anti-government movement.

Paris fuel protests: Dozens arrested as 'yellow vest' demonstrations turn violent
Worst Riot in a Decade Engulfs Paris; Macron Vows Action

"The government is not entitled to a third black Saturday", said Senate President Gerard Larcher, amid warnings that protests could resume in Paris next weekend.

Police responded with around 12,000 tear gas grenades and used 136,000 litres of water through cannons in an attempt to quell the uprising, which comprised of thousands of demonstrators.

Speaking on BFM TV late on Saturday, Castaner said the authorities had put all security measures in place to prevent the violence, but that they had faced extremely violent, organised and determined groups.

The president returned from the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and traveled directly to the Arc de Triomphe to assess damage at the famed monument near his Elysee Palace.

He also met with police officers and firefighters who worked to contain the protests, BFMTV said.

Macron said on Saturday, "What happened today in Paris has nothing to do with the peaceful expression of legitimate anger".

Some of the protests appear to have been hijacked by more radical far-right or far-left groups.

Jennifer Nogent, a 33-year-old nurse from central France came to Paris for the protests with a fireman and a train driver, all of whom said they'd never been involved in politics before.

For now, the "yellow vests" - who take their name from the high-visibility jackets all motorists in France must carry in their vehicles - enjoy widespread public support.

Almost 190 fires were put out and six buildings were set alight, the interior ministry said.

The minister for the Interior, Christophe Castaner, condemned the violence as "a professional strategy of disorder".

The protests began as a backlash against Macron's fuel tax hikes-necessary he said to combat climate change-but have mined a vein of deep dissatisfaction felt toward his liberal reforms, which many voters feel favor the wealthy and big business.

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