U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning to comment on the ongoing riots in Paris, placing the blame for the protests on the Paris Agreement from which the U.S. withdrew past year.
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.
A ring of steel surrounded the Elysee Palace itself as police stationed trucks and reinforced steel barriers in streets throughout the neighbourhood.
Video footage showed one demonstrator being hit in the torso with a rubber bullet while standing in front of a line of police with his hands up. But although Saturday's protest in the French capital started out quietly, by late afternoon at least 551 people had been taken into custody and 60 people had been injured, according to Paris police and hospitals. Protesters threw flares and other projectiles, and were repeatedly pushed back by tear gas. Even so, police fired tear gas and used water cannons and horses to charge at protesters.
Paris public prosecutor Remy Heitz said on December 2 that among the 378 people who were put in custody on December 1, many were 30- and 40-year-old men coming from regional areas, who are well integrated in society, and who came to fight against local law enforcement.
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While scattered scuffles broke out Saturday around central Paris, the action seemed less violent overall at midday 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 neighborhood.
Much of Paris looked like a ghost town on Saturday, with museums, department stores closed on what should have been a festive pre-Christmas shopping day.
He called for more communication between the government and protesters to resolve the conflict.
The "yellow vest" protests, named after the safety jackets worn by demonstrators, began on 17 November in opposition to rising fuel taxes, but have since grown into a wider movement against Emmanuel Macron in the biggest challenge of his presidency so far.
The reason Macron's proposed fuel tax hike-equivalent to about 25 cents a gallon-sparked such a fervent reaction is that it touched a raw nerve among the working class.
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Police are searching people throughout zones of central Paris and confiscating goggles and gas masks from journalists who use them to protect against tear gas while covering demonstrations.
Protesters who came to Paris from Normandy described seeing officers block yellow-vested passengers from boarding at stops along their route.
Dramatic photographs offer a snapshot into the volatile atmosphere surrounding the streets of France at present, as "yellow vests" continue to demand more concessions from the government following Macron's U-turn on the fuel tax.
French police arrest a man during a Yellow Vests demonstration.
Crowds of protesters first tried to march down the Champs-Élysées avenue toward the Élysées palace but were prevented by rows of police. He said he was fleeing the Champs-Elysees, choked with tear gas, when police moved in.
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Out of the media spotlight, Macron met Friday night with riot police being deployed in Paris Saturday.
Anticipating a repeat of last weekend's violence, monuments including the Eiffel Tower and numerous French capital's metro stations remained closed with about 8,000 police on the streets of Paris with tens of thousands more deployed across the country.
Authorities have blamed violence from the protests on hijacking from far right and anarchist groups.
"We're asking him to meet us to negotiate on spending power, which is what underpins all this anger", Cauchy told AFP. "Me, I'm not here to break things because I have four children so I am going to try to be safe for them, because they are afraid", protester Myriam Diaz told the AP.
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