The Latest: France detains 1,220 after anti-govt protests – Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum reopened Sunday after closing during Saturday rioting

Riot police officers charge during clashes, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 in the Old Port of Marseille, southern France. The rumble of armored police trucks and the hiss of tear gas filled central Paris on Saturday, as French riot police fought to contain thousands of yellow-vested protesters venting their anger against the government in a movement that has grown more violent by the week. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

PARIS (AP) 12/09 — The Latest on the unrest in France (all times local): 10 a.m. France’s Interior Ministry says 1,220 people were taken into custody around France during the latest yellow vest protests — a roundup the scale of which the country hasn’t seen in years.

Police frisked protesters Saturday at train stations around the country, confiscating everything from heavy metal petanque balls to tennis rackets — anything that could remotely be used as a weapon.

The Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum reopened Sunday after closing amid Saturday’s rioting. Shops assessed looting damage Sunday and cleared out broken glass, after shutting down on Saturday at the height of the holiday shopping season.

Fierce winds and rain pummeled Paris overnight, complicating Sunday’s cleanup efforts. Used tear gas canister lids lay scattered on the cobblestones of the Champs-Elysees.

In the melee Saturday, protesters had ripped off the plywood protecting Parisian store windows and threw flares and other projectiles. French riot police repeatedly repelled them with tear gas and water cannon.

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An armored military vehicle drives down the Champs-Elysees avenue after clashes Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 in Paris. Crowds of yellow-vested protesters angry at President Emmanuel Macron and France’s high taxes tried to converge on the presidential palace Saturday, some scuffling with police firing tear gas, amid exceptional security measures aimed at preventing a repeat of last week’s rioting. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

 

8 a.m.

Paris monuments reopened, cleanup workers cleared debris and shop owners tried to put the city on its feet again Sunday, a day after running battles between yellow-vested protesters and riot police left 71 injured and caused widespread damage to the French capital.

The man who unleashed the anger, President Emmanuel Macron, broke his silence to tweet his appreciation for the police overnight, but pressure mounted on him to propose new solutions to calm the anger dividing France.

The number of injured in Paris and nationwide was down Saturday from protest riots a week ago, and most of the capital remained untouched, but the violence in neighborhoods popular with tourists is tarnishing the country’s image.

Exceptional police deployment failed to deter determined protesters, and some 125,000 took to the streets Saturday around France with a bevy of ever-expanding demands related to the country’s high living costs.

Police and protesters also clashed in other French cities, notably Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux, and in neighboring Belgium. Some protesters took aim at the French border with Italy. Some 135 people were injured nationwide, including the 71 in Paris.

Police officers clash with demonstrators in Lyon, central France, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. The grassroots movement began as resistance against a rise in taxes for diesel and gasoline, but quickly expanded to encompass frustration at stagnant incomes and the growing cost of living. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

 

Saturday’s protests were a direct blow to Macron, who made a stunning decision last week to abandon the fuel tax rise that initially prompted the protest movement a month ago. His turnaround damaged his credibility with climate defenders and foreign investors — yet did nothing to cool tempers of the “gilets jaunes,” the nickname for the crowds wearing the fluorescent yellow vests that all French motorists must keep in the cars.

The disparate movement now has other demands, from taxing the rich to raising the minimum wage and Macron’s resignation.

https://www.apnews.com/d0184edbabdf4b9fa0e9fd74030728df

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

Posted in: Arrests, International Policing, Police, Protests/Civil Unrest, Vandalism

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