French yellow vest protests met with huge security in Paris


Shouts of "Macron Resign!" were heard among crowds, along with cursing at police and the news media.

Parts of Paris looked like they were bracing for a hurricane, with boards on windows covering up the Christmas decorations.

Police used pepper spray and scuffled with a small group of protesters who tried to break through their barricade blocking access to the European Parliament and the European Union's other main institutions.

Thirty-two people have been remanded in custody.

Hundreds of people gathered early Saturday around the Arc de Triomphe, which was damaged in rioting a week ago.

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. The city subway system was shut down in the centre of town. The equipment allows journalists to cover violence between police and protesters when tear gas is fired.

President Donald Trump called it a sad day and night in Paris in a tweet on Saturday.

Some protesters Saturday attempted to block the Porte Maillot dual carriageway, which is a toll-free route into Paris. 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.

French police fired tear gas Saturday at yellow-vested protesters on the Champs Elysees.

"At the national level, including Paris, we're at more than 700 detained with participation in the movement at 31,000 nationwide including 8,000 in Paris", he told France 2 television. 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.

Mr Macron, who has not spoken in public since he condemned last Saturday's disturbances while at the G20 summit in Argentina, will address the nation early next week, his office said.

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One of them, Eric Drouet, a truck driver, called on protesters to storm into the Elysee presidential palace. "Protests and riots all over France", Trump said.

"I don't want to have kids because I have trouble feeding myself, let alone another mouth", the 25-year-old told the AP, saying he came to Paris to demonstrate and "defend myself".

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

Peaceful yellow-vest protests have also began in the Netherlands.

Police said they had already detained some 354 people by Saturday morning ahead of the demonstrations.

This, however, failed to stop the protests, which have been under way since November 17.

At least four of the weekend's first division football matches have been cancelled.

Protesters have also blocked roads, roundabouts and tollbooths elsewhere in France.

Despite the government's climbdown over the fuel tax, the "yellow vests" continue to demand more concessions, including lower taxes, a higher minimum wage, lower energy costs, better retirement benefits and even Macron's resignation. People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third-world countries (that are questionably run), in order to protest the environment.

His morning tweet came in the middle of UN climate talks in Poland, where almost 200 nations have gathered to agree on a universal rulebook to make good on the promises they signed up to in the 2015 Paris climate deal.