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Mass Arrests In Paris As "Yellow Vest" Protests Enter Violent Third Week, Spread To Belgium

Published: December 2, 2018
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Source: ZeroHedge

French police deployed tear gas after thousands of "yellow vest" activists converged on the the Champs Élysées for a third week of protests against President Emmanuel Macron and his government. Over 122 arrests have been made.

Chanting "On the way to Macron's resignation," the protesters were hit with tear gas as riot police struggled to contain Saturday's violence, which saw cars set on fire, paint thrown on officers, and several injuries. Protesters attempted to breach barricades blocking the path to the presidential palace on Saturday morning; "lighting fires, throwing rocks and spraying police officers with vivid yellow paint."

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Protesters were hit with a water cannon for the second week in a row:

Originally formed to protest rising fuel prices, the "yellow vest" protesters have evolved into a wider demonstration against President Emmanuel Macron's government in recent weeks. After French interior minister Christophe Castaner initially blamed the "far right" for the protests, the interior ministry has now said the participants are "extreme-right and far-left demonstrators," according to The Guardian.

The gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests are posing one of the most sustained challenges yet to Emmanuel Macron’s leadership. Hundreds of thousands of protesters have barricaded roads and blockaded toll-booths and fuel depots across France over the past two weeks, complaining that Macron’s pro-business tax policy was unfair and that people on low-income jobs could not make ends meet.

Motorists initially demonstrated against a fuel tax increase two weeks ago, but the protesters, who have no leader and have largely organised themselves online, now have much broader demands and further actions have followed. -The Guardian

There have been claims that "more radical groups" have infiltrated the grassroots movement, while Castaner tweeted that "1,500 troublemakers" had overtaken what started out as "200 peaceful demonstrators." The replies to his tweet suggest people aren't buying it...

Two people have been killed in car accidents and hundreds injured since the riots began on November 17.

Meanwhile the protests have spread to Brussels, Belgium where Yellow Vest activists burned police vans after the police fired a water cannon at the crowd.

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