(24 Nov 2018) France deployed thousands of police on Saturday to try to contain nationwide protests and road blockades by drivers angry over rising fuel taxes and Emmanuel Macron's presidency.
Tensions have been mounting around the grassroots movement that drew more than a quarter-million people a week ago to protests across France, from Provence to Normandy and in between.
In Paris, near the capital's Arc de Triomphe, protesters in yellow vests gathered early Saturday for a march toward the Elysee Palace.
Paris alone deployed some 3,000 security forces, notably around tourist-frequented areas like the Champs-Elysees, after an unauthorised attempt last week to march on the presidential palace.
During the past week, two people have been killed and hundreds injured, posing big challenges to Macron.
Authorities are struggling because the movement has no clear leader and has attracted a motley group of people with broadly varying demands.
The protesters call themselves the "yellow jackets" for the neon security vests that drivers are required to keep in their vehicles.
Macron has defended the fuel taxes as necessary to reduce France's dependence on fossil fuels, but promised to lay out new plans Tuesday to make the "energy transition" easier.
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