French yellow vest protests met with huge security in Paris

French troops deployed in Paris amid ‘yellow vest’ protest

France gears up to face new riots; Paris shuts down

About 100 were detained, many for carrying unsafe objects like fireworks or clothing that could be used as protection in clashes with police.

By 8.40 am (0740 GMT) police had already detained 278 people.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Demonstrators vandalise a branch of American coffee chain Starbucks in Paris, France.

"10,000 is not the people, it's not France", he argued, despite polls showing the protesters enjoying strong public support.

Demonstrators waving French flags and wearing the movement's signature neon vests gathered before dawn Saturday near the Arc de Triomphe, then tried to march down the Champs-Elysees toward the presidential palace.

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. "I am telling you, things are going to blow up tonight", said Yanis Areg, 21, from Paris suburb Montfermeil.

Large groups of people spilled into other areas and heading to eastern Paris, where a march against climate change was scheduled for the afternoon. Armed police vehicles were seen breaking up makeshift barricades in the upmarket shopping district around Boulevard Haussmann, where supermarkets were looted and several cars were set on fire.

One participant, Christophe Chalancon, told reporters the prime minister "listened to us".

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe met Friday night with representatives of the movement to try to open a dialogue.

National police estimated the number of protesters in Paris on Saturday at 8,000, among 31,000 protesters nationwide.

Interior minister Christophe Castaner said Friday that 151 people were arrested in the small town, adding that some of them carried weapons.

In the Dutch city of Rotterdam, a few hundred protesters in the high-visibility vests walked peacefully across the Erasmus Bridge singing and handing flowers to passers-by.

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Macron's government had warned that the yellow vest protests had created a "monster" and that Saturday's protests would be hijacked by radicalized and rebellious crowds. "Now is the time for discussion".

"Pacific and non-violent march against global warming in Toulouse, we are thousands!"

Rising fuel prices triggered the initial protests, but some officials claimed that "ultra-violent" demonstrators took advantage of the situation, according to the BBC. They were clad in yellow hi-vis vests, the symbol of a movement that began as a protest against rises in tax on diesel and has quickly turned into a wider expression of discontent with the government.

Macron's eco-cred took another hit this week when his government announced it would abandon his carbon-friendly fuel-tax hikes to appease Yellow Vest protesters, a move environmental activists considered a "retreat".

Part of the French police's secret plan to thwart the yellow vests protests in Paris was leaked to social networks, the AFP news agency cited the country's law enforcement source as saying on Saturday.

Hello and welcome to the Guardian's live coverage of the fourth weekend of gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests in France.

Protesters using social media have billed the weekend as "Act IV" in a dramatic challenge to Mr Macron and his policies.

Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere says around 400 protesters are gathered in the area.

Police have urged shops and restaurants on Paris's Champs-Elysees to shut and some museums will also be closed.

In addition, French culture minster Franck Riester told French radio outlet RTL that other popular tourist sites, including the Louvre museum, the Orsay museum, the two Paris operas, and the Grand Palais, will all remain closed on Saturday.

But the demonstrations has since swollen into a broad movement against ex-banker Macron, whom the protesters accuse of favouring the rich.

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