1,723 arrested in 'yellow vest' protests in France

Posted December 13, 2018

"We do not take domestic American politics into account and we want that to be reciprocated", Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian said while appearing on French TV.

It started as a protest against a fuel tax hike and metamorphosed into a rebellion against high taxes, eroding living standards and what many see as his inability to address the concerns of France's regions and ordinary people.

Over three weeks, the demands of protesters have expanded to include a raise in the minimum wage and a decrease in the retirement age.

It is believed to have been filmed on June 9, and shows demonstrators at a rally for Tommy Robinson, an English far-right agitator who was recently prosecuted for broadcasting information that police claim could have led to the collapse of a trial of a group of men charged with sexually abusing minors.

On Saturday, armored vehicles rolled through cobblestone streets in the French capital; it is the first time in years that police resorted to that tactic to handle protests, NPR's Jake Cigainero reported.

Scores of vehicles were burnt and shops damaged, forcing the police to fire tear gas and use water cannon to push back the rioters.

The demonstrations were widely covered by Turkish media, which also repeatedly broadcast the video of high school students forced to kneel with their hands behind their heads by police officers in Mantes-la-Jolie, a western suburb of Paris. "Ah!"

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On Saturday, 17 law enforcement officers and just over 100 protesters suffered injuries.

The Interior Ministry said a total of 1,220 of those arrested had been retained in custody.

Security officials imposed a lockdown on parts of central Paris, determined to prevent a repeat of the rioting a week ago that damaged a major monument, injured 130 people and tarnished the country's global image. "Are they the core ones or are they agitators?"

". I will not have a debate with the president of the United States through tweets, " he said. "The shoes are too big for him".

President Macron has acknowledged the mayhem only briefly in public, with statements from the G20 in Argentina, although he later visited police and firefighters to thank them for their response for last week's mayhem. Some 135 people were injured nationwide, including the 71 in Paris.

President Donald Trump continued mocking his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, as Paris was swept by violence and rioting for a second weekend.

However, he added that there had been fewer injuries compared with last week.

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Several tourist sites, including the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum, were closed at the weekend.

Shopkeepers and café owners near the Arc de Triomphe used plywood to board up their windows.

"They have some time to prepare", Stapts said. More than 70 people were detained.

The protesters are collectively referre3d to as the "yellow vest" movement, in reference to the fluorescent safety outfit French motorists keep in their cars. Protesters hurled stones and firecrackers as they marched through Brussels.

A police spokeswoman told reporters there were about 1,500 protesters on the Champs Elysees boulevard.

Trump observed in a tweet on Saturday that "The Paris Agreement isn't working out so well for Paris", referring to the angry protests rocking the French capital, which were originally sparked by fuel taxes linked to France's climate change policy.

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