Paris braces for more protests

Houston Chronicle - - NATION | WORLD -

PARIS — Paris braced for a fourth week­end of protests as the gov­ern­ment warned of the po­ten­tial for new vi­o­lence and of­fi­cials pre­pared to de­ploy tens of thou­sands of po­lice of­fi­cers through­out France and even ar­mored ve­hi­cles in the cap­i­tal.

The orig­i­nal “Yel­low Vest” protests were dom­i­nated by work­ing-class peo­ple from the prov­inces up­set over a gaso­line tax in­crease and their de­clin­ing liv­ing stan­dards. They adopted flu­o­res­cent road­side safety vests as their sig­na­ture, sym­bol­iz­ing their eco­nomic dis­tress.

But of­fi­cials fear the protests have been coopted by far more violent el­e­ments tak­ing ad­van­tage of the in­sur­rec­tional cli­mate and that Round 4, as Satur­day’s demon­stra­tions are be­ing called, could be more violent than ever.

Last week­end’s demon­stra­tions led to some of the worst ur­ban vi­o­lence in France since the May 1968 up­ris­ing and were marked by skir­mishes be­tween stone-throw­ing pro­test­ers and po­lice of­fi­cers fir­ing tear-gas, burn­ing cars and loot­ing.

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