PARIS (AP) – The Latest on French yellow vest protests (all times local):
Repeated scuffles broke out between French anti-government protesters and police near the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris.
Security forces used tear gas and a water cannon to push back some protesters who were throwing rocks and other objects at them.
Paris police say at least 53 people were arrested before and during the protest in the French capital. They have also arrested some protesters during scuffles near the Arc de Triomphe.
Police armored vehicles have been set up near the monument to help prevent protesters from getting to the nearby Champs-Elysees. A car ban was established on the famous avenue.
Saturday’s actions came on a ninth weekend of yellow vest demonstrations to denounce President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies that protesters consider as favoring the rich.
The central French city of Bourges is shuttering shops to brace for possible violence between police and yellow vest protesters, as the nationwide movement seeks a new stage for its weekly demonstrations.
Paris, too, is hunkering down for a ninth weekend of anti-government protests Saturday. France’s government has deployed 80,000 security forces for the day, and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner threatened tough retaliation against violence.
Online groups mounted calls through the week for mass protests in Bourges, but Paris police said they wouldn’t let down their guard, notably around government buildings and the Champs-Elysees, scene of repeated rioting in past protests.
The protest movement waned over the holidays but appears to be resurging, despite concessions by President Emmanuel Macron. Protesters want deeper changes to France’s economy and politics.