French Police Use Tear Gas Against Protesters in Central Paris

French Police Use Tear Gas Against Protesters in Central Paris

French Police Use Tear Gas Against Protesters in Central Paris

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

As it did last weekend, the U.S. Embassy advised Americans to avoid the demonstrations. The Eiffel Tower's operating company, SETE, said in a statement that it could not ensure the security of visitors.

While scattered scuffles broke out on Saturday around central Paris, the action seemed less violent overall at noon than at the same time a week ago, when crowds defaced the Arc de Triomphe, one of the city's most revered monuments, and rampaged in the surrounding high-end neighbourhood.

Clashes have broken out between "yellow vest" protesters and police in the port neighbourhood of Marseille, in the south of France.

People wearing Yellow Vests clash with police forces.

After the meeting a movement spokesman, Christophe Chalencon, said the premier had "listened to us and promised to take our demands to the president".

"We're asking him to meet us to negotiate on spending power, which is what underpins all this anger", Mr Cauchy said.

UPDATE: 10:10 am EST: French newspaper Le Figaro reports that a journalist has been wounded by a Yellow Vest protestor and has claimed that violence toward journalists by the protestors is much more intense than at previous weeks events.

The nationwide protests started in small urban and rural areas of the country in response to a proposed fuel hike, and demonstrators have been blocking roads over the past three weeks.

Hundreds of yellow-vested protesters calling for the resignation of Belgian prime minister Charles Michel marched on the European quarter of Brussels. Armed police vehicles were seen breaking up makeshift barricades in the upmarket shopping district around Boulevard Haussmann, where supermarkets were looted and several cars were set on fire.

Police estimated that around 1,500 protesters had gathered in the area.

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By noon, more than 500 had been detained in Paris, according to a police spokeswoman.

They also put up a barricade near the Franco-Belgian border close to Adinkerque, Belga said. Dozens of streets were closed to traffic, while the Eiffel Tower and world-famous museums such as the Musee d'Orsay, the Centre Pompidou and the Louvre were shut.

Foreign governments are watching developments closely in one of the world's most visited cities. Police were mounted on horses and surrounded protesters with trained dogs.

Macron's government had warned that the yellow vest protests had created a "monster" and that Saturday's protests would be hijacked by radicalized and rebellious crowds.

France is preparing for more "yellow vest" anti-government protests, putting the nation on high alert as tens thousands of security forces were deployed to prevent the demonstrations from turning violent. Hundreds of protesters, including the movement's leader, were detained during the demonstrations.

The hardline CGT union, hoping to capitalise on the movement, has called for rail and metro strikes next Friday to demand immediate wage and pension increases.

Some 31,000 people were demonstrating across France.

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Macron's "cardinal sin", in the eyes of the protesters, was slashing wealth taxes shortly after taking office.

High taxes in France have been the source of discontent and unrest among French residents.

French students opposing changes in key high school tests protested again Friday, a day after footage widely shared on social media showed the arrest of protesting high school students outside Paris and prompted an outcry.

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