Macron visits damaged Arc de Triomphe after riot

Macron visits damaged Arc de Triomphe after riot

"The culprits of those violent acts don't want change, don't seek improvement, they want chaos".

A group known as "The Yellow Vests" are said to be at the centre of a series of violent riots in the French capital this weekend, which resulted in numerous torched cars, high amounts of property destruction and vandalism, and dozens of people being hospitalised.

Dozens of cars were torched by the gangs of rioters, some of whom wore gas masks and ski goggles to lessen the effects of tear gas which was sacked continually by police.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has canceled his trip to a climate conference Poland on Monday.

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux confirmed a state of emergency was on the table, saying: "It is out of the question that each weekend becomes a meeting or ritual for violence".

Philippe said the violence was "incredibly shocking" during a visit evening to a police barracks on Saturday evening.

Twenty people - six of who are police officers - are believed to have been injured in the scuffles, according to French media.

The warning published on the official website advised citizens who live in France and will travel to the European country to avoid areas of demonstrations, and not to be in places which could endanger their safety.

Mr Macron said his fuel policies were needed to combat global warming.

Macron earlier assessed the damage at the Arc de Triomphe, the massive monument to France's war dead at the top of the famous Champs Elysees avenue, where rioters scrawled graffiti and ransacked the ticketing and reception areas.

On nearby upmarket streets, some Parisians anxious of a repeat of the violence next weekend.

A firefighter looks on as cars are burning
A firefighter looks on as cars are burning during a “yellow vest” protest in Paris France on Dec. 1 2018

The Arc de Triomphe was among hundreds of buildings attacked by anti-government "Yellow Vest" fuel price protesters on Saturday - who said their actions were "the start of a revolution". Everyone's fed up. He's got to listen more", said Amaya Fuster, eyeing graffiti daubed on a Printemps department store window that read: "There's enough money in the coffers of businessmen.

"I feel deep indignation and great sadness at this violence in the heart of Paris", she tweeted.

Commentators on television said it's the most extensive violence in Paris since the May 1968 student uprisings.

"He should take a lesson out of the president's own book", Gorka said on Fox & Friends. Macron has over three years left of his five-year mandate and a strong majority in Parliament, albeit with signs of simmering unease on the backbenches over his response to the protests. Some of the protesters torched barriers and plywood boards.

Streets in several cities were closed for traffic. "The government is open to dialogue with those ready for dialogue". Some demonstrators responded by throwing large rocks.

Acrid plumes of smoke and tear gas, however, were testament to the escalation in violence in Paris, to the consternation of numerous "yellow vests", so-called for the high-visibility jackets they wear.

The grassroots movement has led to sporadic blockades of roads, fuel depots and warehouses.

However, despite Macron having public support hovering at around 25 per cent, he is only one and a half years into his five-year mandate and has considerable support in the French legislative assembly.

The movement's demands have also expanded to higher pensions, an increase in the minimum wage, a repeal of certain other taxes, the restoration of a wealth tax, a law fixing a maximum salary, and replacing Macron and the National Assembly with a "People's Assembly".

The yellow vest movement is bringing together people from across the political spectrum complaining about economic inequalities and waning spending power. "All the roads are shut, they push us back and say go over there, but we can't", added the driver from Dijon, who was attending his second gilets jaunes protest.

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