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  • Yellow vest protesters joined climate change demonstrators to urge action against climate change and big polluters.

    Yellow vest protesters joined climate change demonstrators to urge action against climate change and big polluters. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 December 2018

What began as a riot against fuel tax increases has become the longest and strongest social mobilization in France against "fiscal injustice."

French riot police clashed with "yellow vest" protesters in central Paris Saturday during the latest wave of demonstrations against high living costs and President Emmanuel Macron's anti-working class policies.

RELATED:
Bowing to 'Yellow Vest' Protests, Macron Suspends Fuel Tax Hike

According to government sources, 125,000 people participated in nationwide protests. At least 1,000 people have been arrested and 135 people injured as protesters played a cat-and-mouse game with riot police, moving from the heavily guarded Champs Elysees area to other parts of the city, setting cars, garbage bins and wooden shutters on fire.

President Emmanuel Macron's Administration deployed 89,000 police and security forces across France to stop the yellow vests. In Paris alone, 8,000 police officers were mobilized, according to The Independent. 

Nevertheless, the French capital is the main stage for protests which have been carried out by an increasing number of citizens, despite police repression.

Police threw tear gas canisters at the yellow vests who had flooded the Avenue des Champs-Elysees and its adjacent streets.

Yellow vest protesters also joined protesters demanding government action against climate change. 

Tax the fuel of the rich before that of the poor | Source: Reuters

Demostrators gathered in eastern Paris to urge politicians to act against climate change in Paris, France, as the COP24 is held in Poland. Many carried signs linking social justice to climate justice, stressing the fact that it is the wealthiest individuals and multinational corporations that contribute the most to carbon emissions. 

"Thousands of Yellow Vests singing the Marseillaise on the Champs Elysees"

Several dozens of protesters cut off movement at the Paris bypass for a few minutes before being evicted by the police.

As part of a strategy to prevent scenes of urban guerrilla warfare, such as those that took place a week ago, the police proceeded to make preventive arrests.

A few minutes after 11:00 a.m., Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed that 481 citizens had already been arrested.

The yellow vests movement, however, did not decrease in intensity.

At midmorning, the police's spokesperson Johanna Primevert announced that about 1,500 demonstrators were on the Champs-Elysees and several hundred others in the Place de la Bastille and at the Porte Maillot, next to the Palace of Congresses.

For the first time in more than 40 years, law enforcement in Paris deployed military-like armored vehicles that can be used to cross barricades.

President Emmanuel Macron, however, is yet to make any public pronouncement.

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