Police in Paris detain 320 people ahead of 'yellow vest' protest

Paris warns radicals are trying to exploit Yellow Vests & overthrow the government

Angry protesters on Saturday tried to rip the boards off.

Police deployed tear gas and stun grenades after getting cornered, with some agitators starting to throw plastic bottles.

Peaceful yellow-vest protests have also began in the Netherlands.

Police have said more than 350 protesters have already been detained on Saturday morning - mainly preventive arrests as people arrived at Paris mainline stations. Some protesters took aim at the French border with Italy, creating a huge traffic backup near the town of Ventimiglia.

A few dozen demonstrators wearing the movement's signature neon vests gathered before dawn Saturday near the Arc de Triomphe, which was damaged in last week's rioting. It did not succeed, even though it was better prepared.

The French capital attracted more than 40 million visitors in 2017, according to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, and drew in more than $11.7 billion in tourism spending.

Anticipating a repeat of last weekend's violence, monuments including the Eiffel Tower and numerous French capital's metro stations remained closed with about 8,000 police on the streets of Paris with tens of thousands more deployed across the country.

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. The window of a nearby bank was smashed in with a wrought-iron decoration used to encircle city tree trunks.

About 100 were detained, many for carrying unsafe objects like fireworks or clothing that could be used as protection in clashes with police.

Macron announced earlier this week that the planned hikes in petrol and diesel taxes, which sparked the protest movement, would be cancelled outright.

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Hundreds of police officers are being mobilized in Brussels Saturday, where yellow vest protesters last week clashed with police and torched two police vehicles.

"We are here to tell (Macron) our discontent. Me, I'm not here to break things because I have four children so I am going to try to be safe for them, because they are afraid", protester Myriam Diaz told the AP.

An estimated 31,000 people have joined the anti-government protests across France, deputy interior minister Laurent Nunez said, adding that 700 people had been detained.

Some reporters on the ground in Paris have refuted Trump's claim that the protesters are chanting his name.

Media captionGilets Jaunes: Are nationalists infiltrating the "yellow vests"? They carried signs that read "Non-non a Macron", or "No, no to Macron". Macron, he said, "is not strong enough". This was his third weekend of protesting in Paris.

Mr Macron said his motivation for the increase was environmental, but protesters accused him of being out of touch. "He's done more in 18 months than the others in 30 years".

Nominally, the demonstrations began last month over a proposed environmental fuel tax, directly inspired by the Paris climate accords of 2015, under which France promised to cut its carbon emissions by 75 percent. Many economists and scientists say higher fuel taxes are essential to save the planet from worsening climate change, but that stance hasn't defused the anger among France's working class.

Tear gas had dissipated and a standoff was over.

Police were also 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.

But efforts to negotiate have gone nowhere, not least because the movement's purported leaders have largely declined invitations to talks - some because they were threatened by other "yellow vests".

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