Eiffel tower, Louvre among Paris tourism sites to close on Saturday

French troops deployed in Paris amid ‘yellow vest’ protest

French troops deployed in Paris amid ‘yellow vest’ protest

The French capital experienced its worst riots in decades last weekend, in scenes that shook the country and plunged President Emmanuel Macron's government into its deepest crisis so far.

Police have said more than 350 protesters have already been detained on Saturday morning - mainly preventive arrests as people arrived at Paris mainline stations.

Philippe said some 89,000 police were being mobilised nationwide, with a dozen armoured vehicles deployed in Paris for the first time in decades.

Despite the government's climbdown over the fuel tax, the "yellow vests" continue to demand more concessions, including lower taxes, a higher minimum wage, lower energy costs, better retirement benefits and even Macron's resignation.

His morning tweet came in the middle of UN climate talks in Poland, where almost 200 nations have gathered to agree on a universal rulebook to make good on the promises they signed up to in the 2015 Paris climate deal.

Saturday's protests are the latest part of the Yellow Jackets movement, named after the neon-yellow security vests demonstrators have been wearing and that motorists are required by law to have in their vehicles.

"We are here to tell (Macron) our discontent".

The Eiffel Tower and other tourist landmarks were shut down in preparation for the fourth weekend of confrontations in the French capital, with shops boarded up to avoid looting and street furniture removed to prevent metal bars from being used as projectiles.

Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere said that around 400 protesters were gathered in the area.

Police were earlier 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.

Rows of helmeted, thickly protected riot police blocked the demonstrators' passage down the Champs-Elysees avenue toward the heart of presidential power. Since then, the protests have swelled in size and taken on the cost of living in France, high taxes in general and French President Emmanuel Macron's policies.

Police also fired water cannons at protesters in one of the capital's main shopping districts, not far from the flagship buildings of France's most famed department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, and near the Palais Garnier opera house.

Police used pepper spray on a small group of men who threw street signs, bottles and other objects as they tried to break through a barricade near the European Parliament.

At least 70 people were detained in Brussels this Saturday.

"According to the information we have, some radicalized and rebellious people will try to get mobilized tomorrow", Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told a news conference Friday.

Shops, museums, the Eiffel Tower and many metro stations were closed as much of the city-centre went on effective lockdown. "We know that the violent people are only strong because they hide themselves within the yellow vests, which hampers the security forces", he said Saturday. But who exactly makes up the "yellow vest" movement, and will the government be able to quell their anger after a month of increasingly fiery protests?

Four people have been killed in accidents since the unrest began.

In the Dutch city of Rotterdam, a few hundred protesters in the high-visibility vests walked peacefully across the Erasmus Bridge singing and handing flowers to passers-by. Some yellow vests have joined in.

Macron had previously vowed to stay the course in his bid to shake up the French economy and not be swayed by mass protests that have forced previous presidents to back down.

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