French po­lice clash with pro­test­ers de­cry­ing fuel taxes

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Nation & World -

PARIS — French po­lice fired tear gas and wa­ter can­nons to dis­perse vi­o­lent demon­stra­tors in Paris on Satur­day, as thou­sands gath­ered in the cap­i­tal and be­yond and staged road block­ades to vent anger against ris­ing fuel taxes.

Thou­sands of po­lice were de­ployed na­tion­wide to con­tain the eighth day of deadly demon­stra­tions that started as protests against tax but mor­phed into a re­buke of Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron and the per­ceived elitism of France’s rul­ing class.

Two peo­ple have been killed since Nov. 17 in protest-re­lated tragedies.

Tense clashes on the Champs-El­y­sees on Satur­day saw po­lice face off with demon­stra­tors who burned ply­wood, wielded plac­ards read­ing “Death to Taxes” and up­turned a large ve­hi­cle.

At least eight peo­ple, in­clud­ing two po­lice of­fi­cers, were in­jured in the day of un­rest across France, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties. Po­lice said that dozens of pro­test­ers were ar­rested or de­tained in Paris for “throw­ing pro­jec­tiles,” among other acts.

In the Place de la Madeleine, scoot­ers were burned to black­ened shells.

“It’s go­ing to trig­ger a civil war and me, like most other cit­i­zens, we’re all ready,” said Ben­jamin Vrig­naud, a 21-year-old pro­tester from Chartres.

“They take ev­ery­thing from us. They steal ev­ery­thing from us,” said 21-yearold Laura Cor­don­nier.

Macron has con­demned vi­o­lence by pro­test­ers at demon­stra­tions.

Macron said in a strongly worded tweet: “Shame on those who at­tacked (po­lice). Shame on those who were vi­o­lent against other cit­i­zens No place for this vi­o­lence in the Repub­lic.”

BERTRAND GUAY/GETTY-AFP

A man throws a bike in a burn­ing truck dur­ing a protest against ris­ing oil prices and liv­ing costs near the Arc de Tri­om­phe on the Champs-El­y­sees in Paris on Satur­day.

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