Paris braces for more protests
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.