The fight broke out in the center of Paris today when thousands of anti-government demonstrators entered the streets of France for the fifth Saturday in a row.
The costs of tear gas and baton were used by riot police around the famous Opera district on a so-called 'Act V & # 39; Day of Rage, and by midday there were more than 60 demonstrators in custody.
Most were so-called Yellow Vest fuel price detectors, named after the well-visible coats they wear.
They have been protesting since 17 November and, despite a series of concessions by President Emmanuel Macron, including the scrapping of green taxes on diesel and petrol, they are calling on him to resign.
The demonstrations against the high cost of living in France – repressed by cold weather, rain and recent concessions by French President Emmanuel Macron – were significantly smaller on Saturday than in previous rallies, some parts of Paris with vandalism and looting signed.
"Macron Resign," a crowd of about 1,500 sang today in the streets around the 19th-century Opera Garnier, which normally has a huge attraction for tourists.
Approximately 8,000 police officers were deployed for a fifth consecutive week of demonstrations.
High-end stores, including luxury fashion boutiques were all close to the Opera, along with banks and post offices.
Mounted police, water cannons and 14 armored vehicles capable of spreading high-intensity gas were meanwhile waiting for further problems.
In the late afternoon, a water cannon shot in a row of police vans across from demonstrators in a crowd in cold weather to disperse them. Firefighters extinguish fire in a side street leading to the Champs-Elysees and small fighting broke out between demonstrators and police.
Cracking gas floats in the air during collisions with the police during a demonstration while a man hides behind the rubble with an umbrella while staring at an incoming smoke bomb
Protesters wearing yellow vests (Gilets Jaunes) collide with the French ME during a demonstration on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. A masked man is preparing to launch a smoke grenade in the direction of police approaching the demonstrators
Conflicts between demonstrators and the French riot police broke out before the opera, while a woman was caught on the floor
A protester dressed as Santa Claus kicks a tear gas spot as smoke is released into the air during skirmishes in the French capital this afternoon
Members of the health team wear a wounded demonstrator with a stretcher during yellow vests & # 39; (gilets jaunes) protesting against rising oil prices and deteriorating economic conditions in Paris
A demonstrator wearing a gas mask today throws a tear gas canister during a demonstration against rising costs of lives attributed to high loads
Demonstrators end up in a confrontation with police forces armed with riotous shields during the fifth consecutive weekend of protests
A policeman pepper sprays protesters while several guards attack demonstrators on the floor in Paris this afternoon
French security forces intervene in Protestants during the protest of yellow vests against rising oil prices and deteriorating economic conditions
Smoke grenades are deposed while the police advance today to yellow vestactivists for the Opera Garnier in Paris
The French riot police are trying to spread yellow vestactivists during a demonstration in Bordeaux today
The Interior Ministry of France today that the number of "yellow vest" demonstrators in France was estimated at 33,500 at noon – half the level of a week ago.
The ministry said that 77,000 & # 39; yellow cardigans & # 39; – named after the fluorescent coats they wear – at the same point were counted last weekend.
The police in Paris said that less than 3,000 people gathered for the fifth consecutive Saturday in the capital of demonstrations, which until now were largely peaceful.
In the early afternoon, security forces fired tear gas at the Champs-Elysees, the epicenter of the protests on previous weekends, when about 500 yellow vests came together to denounce the government of President Emmanuel Macron.
There were also small skirmishes on the Place de l'Opera in Paris, where the police dropped grenades to control the crowd there.
Macron announced Monday a series of concessions to defuse the explosive yellow vest crisis, which rose from the countryside and the small French town last month.
He hoped that the package of tax and minimum wage measures for low-income workers, as well as the bitter winter weather, will give the country peace of mind.
The government had also called on people to stay home to give stretched security forces a break after a new terrorist attack on Tuesday in Strasbourg, where a shooter killed four people at a Christmas market.
A protester wearing a yellow vest (waistcoat jaune) gesturing for police forces during a demonstration against rising costs of lives attributed to high taxes on the Champs-Elysees in Paris
A water cannon from the police squirt water today on demonstrators while tear gas swept over the protesting Champs-Elysées of the French capital after a day of largely peaceful demonstrations
A demonstrator dressed as Santa Claus and dressed in a yellow vest is taking part in a demonstration in Paris today
A demonstrator wears a yellow vest this afternoon with a graphical message against taxes during a demonstration in Nantes
Police vans block the Champs Elysees Boulevard to prevent yellow vest protesters from destroying the monument
French Gendarmes collide with demonstrators and arrest a man during violent protests in the French capital this morning
Demonstrators with yellow cardigans kneel on the cobbled streets of Paris. Approximately 8,000 police officers were deployed for a fifth consecutive week of demonstrations
French police arrest yellow vestactivists who block the road as part of the so-called Act V & # 39; Day of Rage this morning in Petit-Fontaine
An elderly high-vis demonstrator is led away after blocking the road as part of a protest in Petit-Fontaine this morning
A demonstrator wearing a yellow cardigan and holding flowers talks to the French ME during a demonstration in Paris
A demonstrator with a yellow vest gives flowers to the French riot police during a demonstration of the & # 39; yellow vests & # 39; movement in Paris this morning
A demonstrator dressed as Santa Claus, with a bag of presents, stands on the steps of the Opera Garnier in Paris and sings for President Emmanuel Macron to resign
Smoke grenades are thrown into the streets of Paris because riot police and demonstrators collide for the fifth consecutive week
Monaem Zarhouni, a 43-year-old father of two, said today in the capital: "I have come to demonstrate peacefully; as soon as there is violence, I leave.
& # 39; My wife is also unemployed and we live from 700 euros ($ 800) per month. It is difficult, we are always struggling. & # 39;
A 28-year-old yellow cardigan named Jeremy, who had joined the Champs-Elysees shortly after 8 o'clock in the morning, said: & # 39; Last time we were here for taxes. This is for the institutions: we want more direct democracy. & # 39;
He added that people & # 39; should scream to make themselves heard.
Throughout the morning the riot police played a game of cat-and-mouse with groups of demonstrators moving through the center of Paris, a large part of which was closed to traffic.
Isolated incidents of tear gas were fired, but a fraction of the amount used on the weekends of 8 December or 1 December when graffiti was covered with the Arc de Triomphe in scenes that shocked France.
Until this week, a clear majority of the French had supported the protests, which were initially caused by tax increases on transport fuel before they fell into the shadows and were broadly opposed to Macron's pro-business agenda and style of government.
But two polls published on Tuesday – after Macron's concessions – found that the country was now broadly divided 50-50 over whether the protests should be continued.
We expect slightly fewer people (in the street) but individuals who are more determined & # 39 ;, said junior interior minister Laurent Nunez at the end of Friday.
A group of women, dressed in reference to the emblematic Marianne figure of France (a personification of freedom and reason), faces a row of police officers during a demonstration of yellow vests in Paris
A demonstrator with a bloody face is taken away by the riot police after clashes in the streets of the French capital
Demonstrators gather during a demonstration of yellow vests on the Champs Elysees in Paris, with sights and police in the distance
Demonstrators climb on each other's shoulders during a Yellow Vest demonstration at the Champs Elysees in Paris
Approximately 8,000 police officers were deployed for a fifth consecutive week of demonstrations. The police proposed to secure an area in Nantes, where demonstrations also took place
A French riot police officer targets protesters wearing yellow vests (Gilets Jaunes) with a non-lethal, hand-held weapon (LBD40) during a demonstration against rising costs of lives attributed to high taxes
Yellow vestactivists go to the streets of Paris this morning for a fifth consecutive week of protests against the government
A masked demonstrator with a Star Wars light sword raises his arms as he walks with hundreds of demonstrators in Paris this morning
Potential weapons including gas bottles, flash guns, baseball bats and petanque balls have been confiscated today, the spokesman said.
Approximately 90,000 security forces were mobilized in France last Saturday and 2,000 people were detained, about half of them in Paris.
They have not been able to prevent the disorder from happening over the past few weekends because roads such as the Champs Elysee exploded violently.
There were almost 750 arrests in Paris last Saturday, with rioters and plunderers also entering the streets of major cities such as Bordeaux and Marseilles.
& # 39; There have been 61 arrests so far, mostly from those who carried potential assault weapons & # 39; said a spokesman for the prefecture of Paris at 12 noon.
Eric Drouet, a senior figure in the yellow card movement, said in a video posted on Facebook: "What Macron did Monday was a call to continue because he started giving ground, which is unusual for him." # 39;
A yellow vest demonstration poses with a portrait of the French president for the Negresco palace this afternoon
Demonstrators hold a sign for & # 39; Enough tax, do your own privileges & # 39; next to a man dressed as Santa Claus in Marseille
Female campaigners are waving the French flag as they walk down the Avenue Champs-Elysees this morning
Demonstrators wrap themselves in French flags and lie on the ground this morning in front of the Paris Opera in the French capital
Demonstrators and riot police face each other during a small collision during a Yellow Vest demonstration at the Champs Elysees in Paris
Prominent activist Jean-Baptiste Redde, aka Voltuan, 61, wears a yellow vest (waistcoat jaune) and holds a cardboard reading & # 39; Macron go away & # 39;
French riot police wrestle with a demonstrator during demonstrations in Nantes against rising costs to blame the activists for high taxes
The French riot police clashes with a demonstrator wearing a yellow vest while protesting against taxes in Nantes in western France
A protester dressed as Santa Claus sits down on a street pole in Paris today, while demonstrations are being held throughout the country
"The police are trying to lead us to safe areas, but we ignore them", says Philippe Berger, a 34-year-old yellow Vest from Brittany.
& # 39; We have come a long way and want to demonstrate in our own way. The establishment has let us down and needs a complete change. Macron has to go, and we will not stop protesting until he does it. & # 39;
While Mr. Berger spoke, the police fired gas bottles into the air and filled streets with white smoke.
The vests are accompanied by extremists of the extreme right and ultralinks, as well as anarchists who are out to do as much damage as possible.
Maria, who runs the restaurant Le Vin Coeur near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, said this morning: "That people demonstrate, no problem, but vandalism is terrible."
Like thousands of other business and restaurant owners in the capital, she was worried and ready to pull her shutters down and close at the first touch of tear gas.
A French policeman directs his weapon Lanceur de balle de defense (LBD40), which fires rubber bullets, while protests start in the capital this morning
A unit of mounted police officers guard the front of the Opera during the demonstration of the yellow vest today
A French policeman holds a rubber bullet weapon while patrolling in the center of Paris with guards with rioters and shields
Riot police watch yellow vestactivists guard the Place Pey Berland during a demonstration in Bordeaux
Approximately 8,000 police officers were deployed in Paris for a fifth consecutive week with demonstrations
Driver dies while demonstrators block off-road yellow jacket in Belgium
A driver died in Belgium at the border with France, Saturday after he had hit a truck that had been delayed by a roadblock by demonstrators of "yellow vest", said a local government official.
The accident occurred in the Erquelinnes area of Belgium at a crossroads between the N40 and N54 roads & # 39; after a delay in France caused by the & # 39; yellow cardigans & # 39 ;, & # 39; said the local government office in northern France.
Many of the "yellow vest" bows, along with leaders from the far left party Unbowed France, urged demonstrators to come out on Saturday to pressure the government to make further concessions.
Others suggested that the mostly small village and rural demonstrators had to show determination by gathering in the regions rather than on their way to the capital.
France needs rest, order and to return to its normal operation.
On Thursday, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux called on demonstrators to stay home on what is normally a busy shopping weekend for Christmas.
He said: & # 39; It would be better if everyone sat quietly quietly for the New Year celebrations with their families, instead of demonstrating and putting our security forces back to work. & # 39;
He spoke Tuesday after an attack in the eastern city of Strasbourg, which left four dead and twelve wounded.
In an attempt to end the protests, Macron announced on Monday a package of measures estimated by economists to cost up to 15 billion euros ($ 17 billion).
He canceled the planned increases in fuel tax, offered an increase in the minimum wage, tax relief for pensioners and tax-free overtime for employees in 2019.
Protesters wearing yellow vests marching during a demonstration to protest against rising cost of living that they accuse of high taxes in Marseille, southern France
A man dressed like a king hits the air while standing in front of the Paris Opera, where hundreds of demonstrators gather in high-quality jackets
For a larger Claus: Santa in a high-vis coat takes part in demonstrations outside the Opera in Paris this morning
A false electoral card was burnt during a demonstration as yellow cardigans Protestants showed worse gas masks and demonstrated against high taxes in Nantes, West France
A demonstrator with a yellow vest destroys & # 39; Macron rests & # 39; on a wall during Saturday morning's protests
Een protestant die tussen de rook van traangas staat terwijl hij tegenover de Franse oproerpolitie staat tijdens een demonstratie op de Champs-Elysees Avenue in Parijs vandaag
Demonstranten die gele vesten dragen schreeuwen slogans tijdens hun ontmoeting op de Plaza de Cibeles in Madrid tijdens een demonstratie waarin wordt opgeroepen tot betere pensioenen
Crisis geteisterd Macron is niet alleen geklommen op het opleggen van groene toeslagen, maar verhoogde het nationale minimumloon met zeven per verzonden, en scapbelasting op bonussen.
Maar de Yellow Vests zeiden dat hun protesten oneindig zouden doorgaan terwijl ze campagne voeren voor nog meer concessies.
Er is opgeroepen tot het uitroepen van een noodtoestand en tot het leger om de straat op te gaan.
De huidige golf van Parijs-geweld wordt als de ergste beschouwd sinds de lente van 1968, toen de regering van president Charles de Gaulle een volledige revolutie vreesde.
De onafhankelijke Macron, leider van de Republic On The Move-partij, won in 2017 de Franse presidentsverkiezingen in een aardverschuiving, maar hij wordt nu de 'president van de rijken' genoemd met peilingen die zijn populariteit tot slechts 18 procent tonen.
The yellow vest movement, which began as a protest against fuel taxes and then evolved into an anti-Macron alliance, seems to have calmed down since the president announced a series of measures to help the working poor.
There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare station today, where the police were inspecting pockets of helmets and other possible signs of problems in riot equipment.
Demonstrant die een geel vest draagt, neemt deel aan een demonstratie tegen stijgende kosten van levens die worden toegeschreven aan hoge belastingen op de Champs-Elysees in Parijs
Franse Gendarmes arresteren gele vest-demonstranten tijdens een demonstratie door de 'gele vesten' beweging in Parijs
Protestors dragen gele vesten demonstreren op de de Erasmusbrug (Erasmusbrug) in het centrum van Rotterdam, Nederland
De zogenaamde gilets jaunes, die in Frankrijk zijn begonnen, protesteren tegen stijgende brandstofprijzen en belastingen en hebben zich over heel Europa verspreid (afgebeeld in Rotterdam)
Hier marcheren ze langs de Erasmusbrug (Erasmusbrug) in het centrum van Rotterdam tijdens enigszins vreedzame protesten
'Respecteer mijn bestaan of verwacht mijn verzet', las een spandoek dat omhoog werd gehouden door enkele van de duizenden demonstranten die op zaterdagochtend op de Champs-Elysees begonnen samen te komen.
Max Werle, a 56-year-old father of nine, said the protests were his first-ever demonstrations.
He said, adding that his daughter had given birth in a firetruck on Monday because the local hospital in Loiret outside Paris had closed years ago: 'I'm here for my children. '(We are) here to defend our cause … it's not a left and right thing.'
'We're here to represent all our friends and members of our family who can't come to protest, or because they're scared,' said Pierre Lamy, a 27-year-old industrial worker wearing a yellow vest and with a French flag draped over his shoulders as he walked to the protest with three friends.
'Everything's coming up now,' Lamy said. 'We're being bled dry.'
He added the protests had long stopped being about the fuel tax and had turned into a movement for economic justice.
Police monitor the situation as demonstrators wearing yellow vests blocked the highway near the French border with Spain today
The protesters caused traffic chaos in Biriatou, southwestern France, this morning during the fifth consecutive week of demonstrations
French Gendarmes apprehend yellow vest protester as tear gas surrounds them and they drag him away during a demonstration in Paris
A man lying on the pavement is helped by police forces during a demonstration near the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris
The French government tweeted, showing a 34-second video that began with images of historic French protests and recent footage of 'yellow vest' protesters rallying peacefully before turning to violence: 'Protesting is a right. So let's know how to exercise it.'
'Protesting is not smashing. Protesting is not smashing our heritage. Protesting is not smashing our businesses. … Protesting is not smashing our republic,' the video said.
Julie Verrier, a protester from Picardie in Normandy in northern France who went to Paris for today's demonstration, said: 'I think that Macron isn't in touch with what the yellow vests want. I think the yellow vests need to continue speaking out.
'Local city halls are closed, so we can't go there to express and write our complaints,' she said. 'So coming here is the only way we have to say that French people need to be heard.'
Yellow vest revolt in France sparked copycat protests around Europe – but some reports have been fake
The month-long French demonstrations, which have led to repeated rioting in Paris, have inspired protesters in a number of mostly European countries.
On December 8, some 400 people were detained in Brussels after protesters wearing high-visibility fluorescent vests briefly clashed with police.
Others reportedly blocked a highway linking Brussels to the town of Rekkem in Flanders, near the French border to protest high taxes.
On the same day in the Netherlands, 'yellow vests' turned out in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Hague to protest the high cost of living, but they were few in number and the demonstrations were peaceful.
In Hungary, some of those protesting a new law, which increases the amount of overtime employers can require of workers, also dressed up in yellow vests on December 12 outside parliament.
And in Poland, farmers wearing the distinctive jackets on Wednesday blocked a motorway to demand government compensation for a swine flu outbreak.
In Germany, both Alice Weidel, one of the founders of the right-wing Alternative for Germany party, and the radical left-wing Die Linke party have expressed support for the French movement.
And some yellow vests were seen among a 1,000-strong crowd of right-wing demonstrators when the Pegida anti-migrant movement when it held a rally on December 1 in Berlin.
In Belgrade, a handful of opposition members of parliament also donned yellow on December 4 to protest petrol price increases.
In South Africa, where some protesters have been spotted wearing yellow vests during demonstrations against the low quality of public services, the Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) spoke out in favour of the French movement, saying it was a model for future protests.
The French movement kicked off on November 17 over higher fuel taxes, but quickly morphed into a nationwide grassroot protest against the high cost of living and the government.
President Emmanuel Macron has since offered tax and wage concessions in a bid to end the protest.
In Egypt, authorities fearing possible protests on the anniversary of the uprising that toppled Egypt's longtime president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, have sought to restrict the sale of yellow vests.
'We received instructions from the police around a week ago to sell yellow vests to companies only, and not to individuals,' one importer said.
And a human rights lawyer, Mohamed Ramadan, was remanded in custody earlier this month over charges including the distribution and possession of leaflets and yellow vests.
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, defended the jailing of an elderly rights activist over calls to protest, stressing he wanted to prevent events like France's 'yellow vest' revolt.
But not every sighting of a high-visibility jacket should be seen as political.
Many social media accounts wrongly reported on Monday that German rail workers, who held a one-day strike for higher pay, wore yellow vests in solidarity with the French.
The vests are mandatory to ensure they are visible when on the railway tracks.
Other reports were pure fakes.
An internet platform, 24jours.com, published a photograph showing 300 motorcyclists in yellow vests purportedly demonstrating in the capital of the Central African Republic against 'the French neo-colonial system' and against the local French-linked currency.
The picture was in fact taken in May when motorcyclists in Bangui attended a first aid training clinic.