Louvre, Eiffel Tower close in Paris amid mass, violent protests

Louvre, Eiffel Tower close in Paris amid mass, violent protests

Louvre, Eiffel Tower close in Paris amid mass, violent protests

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

Crowds of yellow-vested protesters angry at President Emmanuel Macron and France's high taxes tried to march Saturday on the presidential palace, surrounded by exceptional numbers of police bracing for outbreaks of violence after the worst rioting in Paris in decades.

Unlike previous protests, riot police outnumbered demonstrators by about two-to-one, CNN reported.

Shops around the famous Champs-Elysees boulevard - the epicentre of last week's battle - were busy boarding up their windows and emptying them of merchandise on Friday. "We know that the violent people are only strong because they hide themselves within the yellow vests, which hampers the security forces", he said Saturday. "Take care of Paris on Saturday because Paris belongs to all the French people".

National police estimated the number of protesters in Paris on Saturday at 8,000, among 31,000 protesters nationwide.

"The Paris Agreement isn't working out so well for Paris", he tweeted.

Authorities are deploying barricade-busting armored vehicles and 8,000 police in the capital alone, part of 89,000 security forces fanned out around France.

The government is also considering using troops now deployed on anti-terrorism patrols to protect public buildings. "And in case they set up barricades, we can quickly clear out the space and let our units progress".

The "gilets jaunes" protesters are so-called because they have taken to the streets wearing the high-visibility yellow clothing that is required to be carried in every vehicle by French law.

Although Saturday's protest in the French capital started out quietly, tear gas choked the Champs-Elysees Avenue by early evening.

"It's with an enormous sadness that we'll see our city partially brought to a halt, but your safety is our priority", said Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

As it did last weekend, the U.S. Embassy advised Americans to avoid the demonstrations.

The next day Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says the government will not back down.

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About 100 were detained, many for carrying unsafe objects like fireworks or clothing that could be used as protection in clashes with police.

Four people have been killed in accidents since the unrest began November 17.

The pact is obliquely related to the Yellow Vest movement's campaign against Macron's government.

There were no cheers for Trump, nor did anybody say they were against the Paris Agreement - or even mention it, for that matter - although the increase in gasoline tax that was to take effect on January 1 had been promoted by Macron as a way to lessen dependence on fossil fuels. Macron, since returning from the G-20 meeting last weekend, has kept largely out of sight, a move that has puzzled both supporters and critics.

He has left his unpopular government to try to calm the nation.

Unimpressed, the "yellow vests" call for a new protest on December 1 on the Champs-Elysees.

On Friday he met gendarmes in the eastern Paris suburb of Nogent-sur-Marne ahead of the Saturday demonstrations.

The protests are spontaneous and not organised by political parties or unions.

The images, filmed Thursday at Mantes-la-Jolie, showed students on their knees with their hands behind their head, being watched over by armed, masked police.

Interior Minister Christopher Castaner said that he expects radical elements to be present in Paris and that "the past three weeks have given birth to a monster that has escaped its creators".

The rioting has also had an economic impact at the height of the holiday shopping season.

On the eve of a demonstration, "yellow vest" representatives advise against demonstrating in Paris where museums, monuments, big shops and many metro stations will be closed.

Dominique Moisi, a foreign policy expert at the Paris-based Institut Montaigne and a former Macron campaign adviser, told CNN the French presidency was not only in crisis but that Europe's future also hung in the balance.

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