Police arrest 575 in Paris in latest anti-government protest

Paris warns radicals are trying to exploit Yellow Vests & overthrow the government

The Eiffel Tower and scores of shops on the Champs-Elysees will be closed Saturday as a precaution, as will major museums including the Louvre.

Associated Press reporters witnessed multiple protesters hurt in Saturday's clashes with police.

Nationwide, about 89,000 police will fan out in the streets, an increase from 65,000 last weekend, when more than 130 people were injured and over 400 arrested as the protests degenerated into the worst street violence to hit the French capital in decades. An AP video journalist was wounded in the leg as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets on the Champs-Elysees.

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

Yet in a sign of the financial disconnect that infuriates numerous protesters, a few blocks from the famed boulevard, people were sitting in Paris cafes, drinking cocktails and chatting.

A demonstrator throws a tear gas canister near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Saturday.

President Emmanuel Macron's government has warned that the protests will be hijacked by "radicalised and rebellious" crowds and become the most risky yet, after three weeks of demonstrations. The city subway system was shut down in the centre of town.

As demonstrators were clashing with police in Paris and protests were being held across France on Saturday, Mr Trump said: "The Paris Agreement isn't working out so well for Paris".

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Macron on Wednesday agreed to abandon the fuel tax hike, which aimed to wean France off fossil fuels and uphold the Paris climate agreement.

Earlier, TV images showed French protesters parading past the flagship stores of some of Paris's best-known luxury brands such as Mont Blanc and Cartier, all with their shutters tightly fastened on what would normally be a busy shopping day before Christmas.

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

Macron's government warned that Saturday's "yellow vest" protests in Paris will be hijacked by "radicalized and rebellious" crowds and become the most risky yet after three weeks of demonstrations.

But many "yellow vests" are urging fresh protests this weekend, saying a string of government concessions are not enough.

So far Paris police have deployed tear gas on protesters trying to march to the presidential palace.

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

Almost 90,000 police and gendarmes have been mobilised across the country, around 8,000 of them in the capital, officials have said, alongside a dozen VBRG armoured vehicles.

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The government fears the new protests could lead to a new explosion of violence, anticipating participation by the far left and far right.

"We're asking him to meet us to negotiate on spending power, which is what underpins all this anger", Cauchy told AFP. "I hope he will speak to the people of France as a father, with love and respect and that he will take strong decisions", he said.

Hailing mostly from rural and small-town France, they say Macron is out of touch with ordinary people.

"I ask the yellow vests that want to bring about a peaceful message to not go with the violent people".

Eric Verhaeghe, an author, businessman, and political columnist, said that although wages have modestly increased, taxes have increased more and so people feel they're becoming poorer.

Four people have been killed in accidents since the protests began on November 7. Christmas markets, national football matches and countless other events have been cancelled or duisrupted by the protests. Offshoot movements have emerged elsewhere, and yellow-vest protests were planned Saturday in Belgium and the Netherlands.

On Friday, workers across Paris lugged pieces of plywood and hammered boards over the windows of shops and businesses - making the plush Champs-Elysees neighborhood appear like it was bracing for a hurricane.

"People do not want to pay large sums of money ... in order to maybe protect the environment", he tweeted.

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