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Police fired more than 12,000 canisters of tear gas in Paris: report

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Paris demo mask
PARIS,
FRANCE – DECEMBER 01: Yellow vest protesters clash with riot
police as part of demonstration against rising fuel taxes near
Arc de triomphe de l’Etoile in Paris, France on December 01,
2018.

ELYXANDRO CEGARRA/Anadolu
Agency/Getty Images


  • French President Emmanuel Macron has directed his prime
    minister to begin talks with the heads of the “Jaune gilet” 
    demonstrators,  the “Yellow Vests” who sacked parts of the
    French capital over the weekend.
  • Macron was taken to the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday, the scene
    of the worst violence, upon his return from the G20 summit in
    Argentina.
  • French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will
    be on point for Macron with the protest organisers as part of the
    Elysee Palace’s “constant wish for dialogue,” the Elysee said in a statement.
  • According to Radio Europe 1, more than 12,000 canisters of
    tear gas were fired by the Parisien gendarmerie during the
    clashes.
  • The protesters come from a divided France and take issue with
    Macron’s policies, which they feel only benefit the rich.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron’s government will meet with the
“Gilets Jaunes”  demonstrators,  or the “Yellow Vests”
after reports that security forces fired over 12,000 canisters of
tear gas at protestors who sacked parts of the French capital in
scenes of violence that shocked Paris over the weekend.

Macron was taken to the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday, the scene of
the worst violence, upon his return from the G20 summit in
Argentina.

The Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is
being sent
to meet protest organisers and party leaders as
part of a “constant wish for dialogue,” the Elysee Palace said.

Environment Minister Francois de Rugy met representatives of the
“yellow vests” last week but failed to convince them to end the
protests,
Agence France Presse reported on Sunday night.

Demonstrators had earlier written in graffiti on the historic
paris monument, itself raised in honor of the French
revolutionaries who died storming the Bastille: “We have the
right to revolt,” “Macron resign” and “The yellow vests will
triumph!”

According to
Radio Europe 1
several dozens of cars were torched, buildings
set aflame, and shop windows smashed while riot-gear clad
officers set up a perimeter and began firing tear gas and water
cannons into the crowds.

The heavy clashes started shortly before 09:00 CET on the Place
de l’Etoile, at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe, when groups of
people tried to force their way through a police checkpoint
Police set up the checkpoint to prevent a planned protest from
turning violent like it had the previous week.

The situation escalated from there according to most reports.

Dressed in distinguishing vests and gas masks, the 1,500
protesters or so began tearing at the streets, ripping up ancient
cobblestones off the paved road and engaging in running battles
with the gendarmerie and the riot squad.

In a
statement released by the Elysee,
Macron said he has asked
his interior minister to prepare security forces for more
protests and directed the prime minister to hold talks with
political party leaders and representatives of the protesters.

“What happened today in Paris has nothing to do with the peaceful
expression of a legitimate anger,” Macron said.

However, the 40 year-old president and former investment banker
may be regretting his earlier dismissive attitude toward the
Gilet Jaunes when he said they were “shaming France,” by
protesting over the rising price of fuel.

Since then the demonstrators that have expressed such outrage
have turned their fury on the broader policies of the Macron
administration, and on the president himself. 

Macron toured the devastated Champs-Elysee and the Arch de
Triomphe, shattered glass and shop fronts, roads ripped up, the
shells of burned out cas and perhaps hardest for the president to
see – graffiti on the walls of the Arch de Triomph denouncing the
presidency. 

Inside was even worse


paris demo face
A
vandalizes statue of the Marianne, a symbol in France, seen
inside the Arc de Triomphe, as protesters wearing yellow vests
(gilets jaunes) entered the Arc de Triomphe monument during
clashes with riot police as part of a demonstration over high
fuel prices on the Champs Elysee in Paris, France, 01 December
2018.

ELYXANDRO CEGARRA/Anadolu
Agency/Getty Images


The damage inside the monument was even worse.

The statue of the Marianne, a symbol
of French freedom and Resistance was reportedly hacked at and
vandalized by the gilets jaunes who entered the Arc de Triomphe
monument during clashes with riot police on Saturday night.

According to Europe 1, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux had
earlier volunteered that the government could impose a state of
emergency on Sunday.

By the time Macron landed in Charles de Gaulle Aeroport, more
than 400 people had been taken into custody.

It is thought the cost of the rioting, the worst in Paris since
1968, may already be in the hundreds of millions of euros.

The damage to the French state is almost certainly worse.

Macron has found himself increasingly isolated at home, tied up
with world events and negligent, even arrogant in his dismissal
of the issues that confront people everyday in France.

In an
interview with the Washington Post
on Friday, a Yves Rollet
from Bsancon called Macron “President of the Rich.”

Unemployment remains high, most notably among the young who face
more than 20% unemployment in many regional areas of
France. 

And France is a nation divided. Not just by race, but by class
and by generation. Some, like the Gilet Jaune, feel they have
nothing mush to lose.

A dozen cars were set on fire, buildings were torched, tear gas
was fired and water cannons were deployed in the French capital
on Saturday.

The situation escalated quickly with some of the 1,500 protesters
ripping cobblestones off the paved road to throw at police
officers. Police wrestled control of the area shortly after
lunchtime but groups of men then roamed central Paris, leaving
wrecked cars and destruction behind them,
Euro News reported
.

Should a state of emergency be declared, it would be the first
time since the 2015 terror attacks, according to Euro News.


paris demo arch
Yellow
vest protesters clash with riot police as part of demonstration
against rising fuel taxes near Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile in
Paris, France on December 01, 2018.

ELYXANDRO CEGARRA/Anadolu Agency/Getty
Images


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