'Yellow Vests' Warn Macron of Greater Violence in Paris

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Interior Minister Christophe Castaner on Tuesday urged "responsible" protesters not to come to the capital after crowds ran amok last Saturday, burning more than 200 cars, vandalising shops and leaving the Arc de Triomphe daubed in graffiti. Workers hammered plywood over the windows of shops and businesses, making the plush Champs-Elysees neighborhood appear to be bracing for a hurricane. We will be there in bigger numbers, stronger, standing up for French people.

The city's police chiefs have promised that officers from all units will be present, including the French Anti-Crime Squad known as the BAC, the territorial brigades and all Paris police station staff will be on duty on Saturday.

The Government is also considering using troops now deployed on anti-terrorism patrols to protect public buildings. "If that is not the case ... then we can reopen it for discussion".

Local officials in 15 areas around the capital were also asked to remove anything in the streets that could be used as projectiles. Those included the renowned Champs-Elysees, which would normally be packed with tourists and shoppers.

They invariably run into mass protests, however, because they take an immediate bite out of nearly all consumers' pocketbooks, while those consumers see no immediate benefit.

As it did last weekend, the U.S. Embassy advised Americans to avoid the demonstrations.

"We have reasons to fear major violence", a source in the Elysee Palace told AFP amid calls for fresh mobilisation of the "yellow vests" movement already linked to four deaths and hundreds of injuries in often violent demonstrations.

"The average demonstrator in this protest is a working class person who wants to have an affordable lifestyle, wants the resignation of Macron and is either centrist, sympathetic to the left or sympathetic to the right", he said.

Inspired into action against increased carbon fuel taxes, the Gilets Jaunes, or Yellow Vests, are planning their fourth straight weekend of action - despite President Emmanuel Macron backing down and cancelling further tax increases slated for January 1st.

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Macron agreed to abandon the fuel tax hike, part of his plans to combat global warming, but protesters' demands have now expanded to other issues hurting French workers, retirees and students.

In a move questioned by both critics and supporters, the president himself has disappeared from public view.

France is being pulled in two different directions on tax - trying to balance wooing business with anger from ordinary citizens over the cost of living. But the yellow vest protesters turned that around with the slogan: "it's hard to talk about the end of the world while we are talking about the end of the month".

France has been rocked by protests since November 17 against the rising fuel taxes and the government's pro-business agenda.

High school students block the entrance of the Lycee Henri IV secondary school to protest against the French government's reform plan, in Paris, France, December 6, 2018.

Paris police said 412 people were arrested during the clashes in Paris on Saturday and 363 remained in custody, according to the latest figures.

The rioting has also had an economic impact at the height of the holiday shopping season. Rampaging groups threw cobblestones through storefronts and looted valuables in some of the city's richest neighborhoods.

As a further warning to Macron and company, Poujade's movement won 52 seats in the National Assembly.

Two truck driver unions have also called an indefinite sympathy strike from Sunday night, and students are blocking dozens of schools nationwide to denounce tougher university entrance requirements.