Almost 300 detained as Paris braces for 'yellow vest' protests

Almost 300 detained as Paris braces for 'yellow vest' protests

Almost 300 detained as Paris braces for 'yellow vest' protests

The leaderless Yellow Vests have called for him to resign.

French authorities on Saturday arrested more than 650 protesters during the latest wave of anti-government protests over a hike in fuel prices in the capital, worldwide media reported.

Yet in a sign of the financial disconnect that infuriates numerous protesters, a few blocks from the famed boulevard, people were sitting in Paris cafes, drinking cocktails and chatting.

"These past three weeks have produced a monster that its creators no longer control", Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Friday, vowing "zero tolerance" towards those aiming to wreak further destruction.

Official estimates put the number taking part in Saturday's protests at 136,000 people, including 10,000 in Paris.

REUTERS/Christian Hartmann Tear gars floats in the air around protesters wearing yellow vests during clashes with French Gendarmes on the Champs-Elysees Avenue as part of a demonstration by the "yellow vests" movement in Paris, France, December 8, 2018.

Protesters on the Rue Marceau, in front of the Place de l'Etoile, during demonstration of the "Yellow vests", in Paris, Dec. 8, 2018.

They will close many museums and the Eiffel Tower, they've asked shops on the Champs Elysees avenue to shutter up, and postponed Saturday's soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier.

Clad in their luminous road safety jackets, dozens of demonstrators - who accuse President Emmanuel Macron of only looking out for the rich - gathered at dawn on the Champs-Elysees, the scene last Saturday of the worst rioting in Paris for decades.

Government calls for protesters to stay away from "Act IV" of a battle that began over fuel prices but ballooned into an anti-Macron revolt fell on deaf ears, with demonstrators making their way to Paris from across the country. "Protests and riots all over France", Trump said earlier Saturday.

Police also confiscated surgical masks and goggles used to protect against the effects of tear gas.

Late last month, Trump's own government issued a dire report warning of massive economic losses if carbon emissions continue to feed climate change unchecked, but the USA leader said he didn't believe the findings.

But the "yellow vests", some of whom who have become increasingly radicalised, are holding out for more.

Clashes broke out in cities across France, including Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon and Toulouse, during a fourth weekend of nationwide protests against rising living costs and Macron in general.

The climbdown marked a major departure for a president who had vowed, unlike predecessors, not to be swayed by mass protests.

Arguing that such a move was necessary in order to boost investment and create jobs, he has so far ruled out re-imposing the "fortune tax".

The policy, along with hikes on pensioners' taxes, cuts in housing allowances and a string of comments deemed insensitive to ordinary workers, has led critics to label Macron a "president of the rich".

Many economists and scientists say higher fuel taxes are essential to save the planet from worsening climate change, but that stance hasn't defused the anger among France's working class.

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