Paris Tax Riot: 112 cars torched, 133 injured including 23 police officers – 412 arrested, 378 still in custody

A woman takes a snapshot of charred cars the day after a demonstration, near the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot in the French capital, as activists torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

By SYLVIE CORBET,  Associated Press   PARIS (AP) 12/02 — French President Emmanuel Macron asked for an evaluation of possible protest security measures Sunday, a day after a Paris demonstration against increased taxes and living costs devolved into France’s worst urban riot in a decade.

Hours after he flew back to the French capital from the G-20 summit in Argentina, Macron held an emergency meeting at the Elysee presidential palace while crews worked to remove charred cars, broken glass and graffiti from the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue and other top Paris sites.

Paris police said 133 people were injured, including 23 police officers, as crowds trashed the streets of the capital Saturday. Officers fired tear gas and used water cannon to tamp down the violence as protesters torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with spray paint.

Workers are about to clean a graffiti, center, reading “yellow jackets will triumph” on the Arc de Triomphe the day after a demonstration, in Paris, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot in the French capital, as activists torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

 

Paris police Prefect Michel Delpuech said some officers described encountering “unprecedented” violence, including protesters using hammers, gardening tools, bolts, aerosol cans as well as rocks in physical confrontations.

Some radical far-right and far-left activists were involved in the riot, as well as a “great number” of protesters wearing yellow jackets, Delpuech said. The fluorescent jackets, which French motorists are required to have in their cars for emergencies, are an emblem of a grassroots citizens’ movement protesting fuel taxes.

Fires were started at six buildings and more than 130 makeshift barricades and 112 vehicles were torched, Delpuech said.

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said 378 people remained in police custody as of Sunday evening, 33 of them minors.

Earlier Sunday, Macron visited the Arc de Triomphe, which had damaged statues as well as graffiti. One slogan on the famed war memorial read: “Yellow jackets will triumph.” He then headed to a nearby avenue where activists battled police on Saturday to meet with firefighters, police officers and restaurant owners.

At the security meeting, the French leader asked his interior minister to consider making “adaptations” to security procedures to try to contain ongoing protests sparked by rising fuel taxes, Macron’s office said in a statement.

Macron also asked Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to meet with the heads of France’s major political parties and representatives from the grassroots movement behind the protests.

A man rides his bicycle past by a graffiti reading “Macron equal to Louis 16” to reference to the king of France during French Revolution in 1789 on the Paris Garnier Opera house in Paris, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot in the French capital Saturday, as activists caused widespread damage and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti during clashes with police. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

 

Plans for an earlier meeting between the prime minister and representatives of the movement collapsed last week after a request to broadcast the talks live was rejected.

It was the third straight weekend of clashes in Paris involving activists dressed in the yellow vests of the new protest movement. The grassroots protests began Nov. 17 with motorists upset over a fuel tax hike, but have grown to encompass a range of demands and complaints that Macron’s government does not care about the problems of ordinary people.

The scene in Paris contrasted sharply with protests elsewhere in France that were mostly peaceful.

“It’s difficult to reach the end of the month. People work and pay a lot of taxes and we are fed up,” said Rabah Mendez, a protester who marched peacefully Saturday in Paris.

Speaking in Buenos Aires before he flew home to Paris, Macron said he welcomed the views of protesters but vowed that those who participated in wreaking havoc would be held responsible for their behavior.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron, centre left, France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, center, Secretary of State to the Interior Minister Laurent Nunez, left, and Paris police Prefect Michel Delpuech, right, arrive to visit firefighters and riot police officers the day after a demonstration, in Paris, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot in the French capital, as activists torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

 

A charred car is pictured the day after a demonstration, near the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot in the French capital, as activists torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

“(Violence) has nothing to do with the peaceful expression of a legitimate anger” and “no cause justifies” attacks on police or pillaging stores and burning buildings, Macron said.

https://www.apnews.com/96b592f88744431d820faf9777114581

 

The Latest: Paris police chief says 112 cars torched in riot

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on French protests against higher taxes (all times local): 7:45 p.m. The chief of police in Paris has condemned protest-related rioting in the French capital as unprecedented and unacceptable violence.Police prefect Michel Delpuech said Sunday that fires were started at six buildings and more than 130 makeshift barricades and 112 vehicles were torched.

Delpuech said some participants in Saturday’s rioting used hammers, gardening tools, bolts and aerosol cans in clashes with police.

He said some radical far-right or far-left activists were involved in the riot as well as a “great number” of protesters wearing yellow jackets. The jackets are an emblem of a grassroots citizens’ movement protesting fuel taxes.

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said 378 people remained in police custody as of Sunday evening. Many of them will go to trial through a rapid procedure on Monday and Tuesday.

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5:25 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron has asked his interior minister to consider making “adaptations” to security procedures to try to contain ongoing protests over rising taxes.

The president’s office issued a statement after an emergency meeting was held at the presidential palace Sunday to discuss the protests a day earlier in which activists wearing yellow jackets trashed the streets of Paris.

The statement says Macron also asked Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to meet with the heads of France’s major political parties and representatives from the grassroots movement behind the protests, “with a concern for dialogue.”

Plans for an earlier meeting between the prime minister and representatives of the movement collapsed last week after a request to broadcast the talks live was rejected.

___

A woman looks at her charred car the day after a demonstration, near the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot in the French capital, as activists torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

 

4:30 p.m.

France’s interior minister and his deputy are scheduled to brief a parliamentary commission about a tax protest in Paris that devolved into a riot.

The French Senate’s law commission said in a statement that the hearing set for Tuesday will focus on the security measures that were in place for the protest and any measures needed to help prevent a repeat of the damage seen Saturday.

Paris police say 133 people were injured and 412 arrested as protesters torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores, threw rocks at police and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with graffiti in the French capital.

The French Senate is dominated by a conservative majority that serves as the opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party, which has the majority in the lower house of parliament.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron, center, leaves the Arc de Triomphe the day after a demonstration, in Paris, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot in the French capital, as activists torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

 

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1:30 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is holding an emergency government meeting on security issues after Saturday’s protest turned into a riot in Paris.

The meeting at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris includes Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.

Environment minister Francois de Rugy, in charge of transports and energy, was also present as the protests were initially prompted two weeks ago by a fuel tax rise.

The “yellow jackets” movement now involves a broad range of demands related to France’s high cost of living. Saturday’s violence was France’s worst riot in over a decade.

Earlier Sunday, Macron visited the damaged Arc de Triomphe monument, then met with firefighters, police officers and restaurant owners in a nearby avenue where yellow jacket activists had torched cars and smashed windows Saturday.

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France’s President Emmanuel Macron shakes hand with a firefighter as he visits firefighters and riot police officers the day after a demonstration, in Paris, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot in the French capital, as activists torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

 

11:55 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris, which had been sprayed with graffiti and damaged in Saturday’s protest riot in Paris.

Macron, just back from the G-20 summit in Argentina, went to the Arc de Triomphe to pay tribute to the Unknown Soldier from World War I whose tomb is under the monument. He then headed to a nearby avenue where activists wearing yellow jackets had torched cars and smashed windows Saturday in France’s worst urban riot in years. There he met with firefighters and police officers.

Later Sunday, Macron is holding an emergency government meeting on security issues.

Paris police say 133 people were injured and 412 arrested as protesters trashed the streets of the capital Saturday. Police fired tear gas and used water cannon to tamp down the violence.

___

9:45 a.m.

Paris police say 133 people have been injured and 412 arrested have been arrested as protesters trashed the streets of the capital during France’s worst urban riot in years.

French President Emmanuel Macron was holding an emergency meeting on security later Sunday with his prime minister and interior minister. He has vowed that those responsible for the violence and the damages will pay for their actions.

A statue with a graffiti reading “Popular Insurrection” is seen as pigeons fly past by, near the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot in the French capital Saturday, as activists caused widespread damage and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti during clashes with police. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot Saturday in the most popular tourist areas of the French capital. Activists wearing yellow jackets torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores, threw rocks at police and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti. Police responded with tear gas and water cannon, closing down dozens of streets and Metro stations to contain the riot.

By Sunday morning, Paris city employees were cleaning up the graffiti on the Arc de Triomphe. Some of Paris’ major avenues near the Arc de Triomphe and streets around the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue and the Tuileries garden were littered with piles of debris and burned cars.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in: Arrests, Attacks on Police, Injuries, International Policing, Police Officers Injured, Politics, Protests/Civil Unrest, Vandalism

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