Clashes as yellow vest protests grow in Belgium, Netherlands

Sunday, 09 Dec, 2018

Paris is on lock-down as armed police brace for another confrontation with "yellow vest" protesters in a fourth weekend of demonstrations over living costs. A repeat of this kind of damage in the French capital.

On Friday he met gendarmes in the eastern Paris suburb of Nogent-sur-Marne ahead of the Saturday demonstrations. Police were mounted on horses and surrounded protesters with trained dogs.

He said the protests had "created a monster" and vowed a zero-tolerance approach by police to violence.

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

As the day of news wrapped up Trump sent another message calling it a "very sad day & night in Paris" and proposing one more time to abolish the "ridiculous and extremely expensive" Paris agreement. Subway stations in the city centre closed and the US embassy warned citizens to avoid all protest areas.

The protesters are angry at Macron and high taxes, among other problems.

The government has admitted it failed to appreciate the depth of the anger, and has announced it will cancel a fuel tax hike set for January, of seven euro cents for diesel and three cents for unleaded.

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.

Police frisked people or searched bags every hundred meters or so throughout central Paris, and confiscated gas masks and protective goggles from Associated Press journalists.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the radical-left France Unbowed party, attended a climate rally in Bordeaux with members of the yellow vest movement. One Paris resident, teacher Francesca Testi, tweeted a video of gilets jaunes protesters smashing up what appeared to be a cafe.

French gendarmes apprehend a protester during clashes at a demonstration by the
Clashes as yellow vest protests grow in Belgium, Netherlands

Paris police fired tear gas and water cannons at some violent protesters in clashes on the Champs-Elysees, as the crowd of demonstrators in Paris grew to 8,000 Saturday. So the protesters tried other routes, marching through the prime shopping district that includes the high-end stores of Galeries Lafayette and Printemps and the Palais Garnier opera house.

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.

But protesters believe they are fighting for a fair cause. "But I still want to be here to say 'Stop, that's enough, this has to stop"'. He said he earns only 1,430 euros ($1,625) a month despite working 45 hours a week and has decided not to have children because doesn't feel he can earn enough to raise them.

A smaller "yellow vest" demonstration of around 500 people also took place in the Belgian capital Brussels near the European Parliament, according to the newspaper Le Soir.

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

Four people have been killed in accidents since the protests began on November 7.

As reporters like Samuel Laurent of Le Monde and Ryan Broderick of Buzzfeed News have explained, there is a Trumpian aspect to the unrest in France though, since "les fake news" has helped fuel the wave of protests over the past month.

Here is a timeline of the "yellow vest" movement in France, from the first online rumblings against a fuel tax hike to nationwide protests.

Workers carry a wooden board to protect shop windows on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, on Friday, December 7, 2018. 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.