Paris on se­cu­rity alert for week­end of anti-gov­ern­ment protest

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Uk & World News -

THE Eif­fel Tower in Paris will be closed on Satur­day as French au­thor­i­ties tighten se­cu­rity to pre­vent an­other out­break of vi­o­lence fol­low­ing three weeks of anti-gov­ern­ment protests.

In ad­di­tion to the 8,000 po­lice forces that will be de­ployed in the French cap­i­tal, the Paris po­lice pre­fect has iden­ti­fied 14 high-risk sec­tors that will be cleared out.

Fear­ing pro­test­ers could tar­get street fur­ni­ture or con­struc­tion sites, Paris po­lice will re­move all the glass con­tain­ers, rail­ings and build­ing ma­chines set up in the iden­ti­fied sec­tors which in­clude the Champ­sEl­y­sees av­enue.

Across the coun­try some 89,000 po­lice will be mo­bilised, up from 65,000 last week­end when more than 130 peo­ple were in­jured and over 400 were ar­rested in the worst street vi­o­lence seen in the coun­try in dec- ades. And au­thor­i­ties have also can­celled six French league foot­ball matches this week­end around the coun­try.

Since the un­rest be­gan on Novem­ber 17 in re­ac­tion to a sharp in­crease in diesel taxes, four peo­ple have been killed in ac­ci­dents.

The pro­test­ers are col­lec­tively re­ferred to as the “yel­low vest” move­ment, in ref­er­ence to the flu­o­res­cent safety out­fit French mo­tor- ists keep in their cars. Amid the un­rest, some of the pro­test­ers, French union of­fi­cials and prom­i­nent politi­cians across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum have urged calm es­pe­cially as French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron agreed to aban­don the fuel tax hike that trig­gered the move­ment. How­ever, pro­test­ers’ de­mands have now ex­panded to other is­sues hurt­ing French work­ers, re­tired peo­ple and stu­dents.

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