Se­cu­rity forces de­ployed amid fresh riot fears

France: Paris braced for more violent clashes

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - WORLD NEWS - BY AN­GELA CHARL­TON

France will de­ploy more than 65,000 se­cu­rity forces amid fears of fresh ri­ot­ing at protests in Paris and around the na­tion.

Po­lice unions and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties held emer­gency meet­ings on how to han­dle the week­end protests, while dis­parate groups of pro­test­ers did the same thing, shar­ing their plans on so­cial net­works and chat groups.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told sen­a­tors yesterday that the gov­ern­ment will de­ploy “ex­cep­tional” se­cu­rity mea­sures for the protests in Paris and else­where, with ad­di­tional new forces on top of the 65,000 se­cu­rity of­fi­cers al­ready in place.

Some “yel­low vest” pro­test­ers, mem­bers of France’s lead­ing unions and prom­i­nent politi­cians across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum called for calm af­ter the worst ri­ot­ing in Paris in decades last week­end.

Many shops and restau­rants in the cen­tre of Paris plan to shut down to­mor­row, fear­ing a re­peat of the vi­o­lence.

The Eif­fel Tower also an­nounced it will be closed, fol­low­ing sim­i­lar de­ci­sions from sev­eral mu­se­ums and other cul­tural sites.

Tick­ets bought on­line will be re­funded, the com­pany op­er­at­ing the Paris mon­u­ment said on Twit­ter.

Pres­i­dent Macron on Wed­nes­day 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 crit­ics and sup­port­ers, the pres­i­dent him­self has dis­ap­peared from pub­lic view.

Scores of protest­ing teenagers clashed with po­lice at a high school west of Paris yesterday, ac­cord­ing to re­ports, as part of na­tion­wide stu­dent protests over new univer­sity ad­mis­sions pro­ce­dures and ris­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive fees.

Drivers wear­ing their sig­na­ture yel­low safety vests con­tin­ued to block roads around France, now de­mand­ing broader tax cuts and wider gov­ern­ment so­cial ben­e­fits.

A small union rep­re­sent­ing po­lice ad­min­is­tra­tors called for a strike on Satur­day, which could fur­ther com­pli­cate se­cu­rity mea­sures.

French po­lice have come un­der crit­i­cism for fail­ing to pre­vent dam­age to the Arc de Tri­om­phe and stores along the famed Champ­sEl­y­sees in cen­tral Paris last week­end – as well as for vi­o­lence against pro­test­ers.

Videos on so­cial me­dia of po­lice beat­ing pro­test­ers at a Burger King near the Champs-El­y­sees have stoked the anger.

“The pres­i­dent him­self has dis­ap­peared from pub­lic view”

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