Paris was under high-security alert on Saturday as riot police clashed with gilets jaunes (yellow vest) protesters around the capital in the fourth weekend of protests over rising living costs.
On social media, protesters are calling this weekend’s demonstrations were dubbed “Act IV” and are a challenge to French president Emmanuel Macron’s policies who they call “president of the rich”.
Dozens of streets in central Paris were closed to traffic and museums, monuments, and shops were closed to the public.
About 89,000 police were deployed across the country with 8,000 in Paris.
At around 9:45 am, police said there were close to 1,500 protesters on the Champs Elysees.
There have already been a number of arrests on Saturday morning.
The protests started in November over fuel tax hikes but they’ve become a wider reproach against Macron.
Authorities say the demonstrations have been hijacked by violent people who go there to break things.
An Elysee official has said intelligence suggested that some protesters would come to the capital “to vandalise and to kill”.
Macron was forced to make the first major U-turn in his presidency by abandoning the fuel tax hikes.
But despite that, the gilets jaunes continue to make more demands such as lowering taxes, a higher minimum wage, better retirement benefits, and Macron’s resignation.
Macron is set to address the nation early next week.__EuroNews