'Yellow Vest' protest erupts again in Paris


While protests did not turn as intensely violent in Paris as the week before, over 700 Yellow Vest protesters were arrested by police and dozens of people required hospital treatment following clashes, including several riot police officers.

Paris was on lockdown with major monuments and department stores shut and some 8,000 police on the streets following the worst rioting in the capital in decades last weekend.

President Emmanuel Macron's government is deploying 89,000 security forces around the country for Saturday's protests against his reforms.

Amid heightened tensions, police seized 28 petrol bombs and three homemade explosive devices Friday at an area blockaded by protesters in Montauban in southern France, a spokesman for the Tarn-et-Garonne prefecture told CNN.

The fuel tax increases were Macron's attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fulfill his country's part in the Paris climate agreement by making it easier for cleaner sources of energy to compete.

The "yellow vests" reject the moves as insufficient and press ahead with plans for a fourth day of protests on Saturday, Dec 8.

A protester throws a tear gas canister back toward the police during a confrontation on Saturday in Paris.

Eric Drouet, one of the initiators of the protests, called on people to protest on the roads and motorways surrounding Paris, "where there is nothing to break and nothing to destroy" but where they can "shout out" their anger. More than 30 people were injured. "Colleagues be careful on the Champs-Elysees".

Hundreds of police officers were mobilized in Brussels on Saturday, where yellow vest protesters last week clashed with police and torched two police vehicles.

Now the demands of the "yellow vest" movement - named for the fluorescent safety vests that French motorists keep in their cars - are pressing for a wider range of benefits from the government to help French workers, retirees and students.

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"We can not take the risk when we know the threat", Culture Minister Franck Riester told RTL radio, adding that far-right and far-left agitators were planning to hijack rallies by "yellow vest" protesters in Paris. Police were mounted on horses and surrounded protesters with trained dogs.

"Now we await Mr Macron". The demonstrators are protesting France's high cost of living.

In the Dutch city of Rotterdam, a few hundred protesters in the high-visibility vests that have become a symbol of the movement walked peacefully across the downtown Erasmus Bridge singing a song about the Netherlands and handing flowers to passers-by.

One of them, Eric Drouet, a truck driver, called on protesters to storm into the Elysee presidential palace.

Interior minister Christophe Castaner urged calm: "I ask the yellow vests that want to bring about a peaceful message to not go with the violent people".

Authorities have detained 343 people already Saturday amid exceptional security and filtration measures.

Since the anti-government unrest began on November 17 in reaction to a sharp increase in diesel taxes, four people have been killed in protest-related accidents. Top-flight football matches and concerts were cancelled.

The "yellow vest" movement has been spurred by anger in small-town and rural France at rising vehicle fuel taxes which were aimed at helping the country transition to a greener economy, but which protesters say hurts the poor. More than 500 of them remained in custody after police found they carried potential weapons such as hammers, baseball bats and metal balls used in the French lawn game petanque.

Other pictures show rioters with their eyes streaming after tear gas was unleashed on the protesters.

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