Macron visits Arc de Triomphe after riots tear parts of Paris apart
Police in Paris said 23 officers were among 133 people who have been injured since afternoon, tearing parts of the capital apart.
Out of the 412 arrested, 378 are in police custody, while the interior minister Christophe Castaner said about 3,000 people were suspected of having taken part in the Paris violence which marks the worst unrest the capital has seen since 1968.
Image: Protesters face riot police in Paris on 1 December
1:07 Video: Paris clean-up after burnt cars and graffiti
Activists dressed in hi-vis jackets torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores and vandalised the Arc de Triomphe as thousands took part in a protest against rising fuel taxes and President Emmanuel Macron‘s liberal economic reforms.
Benjamin Griveaux, a government spokesman, on Sunday morning said France would consider imposing a state of emergency to prevent further unrest, and is urging peaceful protesters to get around the negotiating table.
0:36 Video: Crowd boos and claps Macron at riot site
He told Europe 1 radio: “It is out of the question that each weekend becomes a meeting or ritual for violence.”
A government spokesman said it is open to dialogue but will not change course.
However, a French government source said during an emergency meeting on Sunday afternoon Mr Macron did not discuss imposing a state of emergency, Reuters news agency reported.
They said the ministers instead spoke about adapting security forces for future protests.
3:18 Video: Rioting on the streets of Paris
Hours before, Mr Macron headed straight to the Arc de Triomphe, where city employees had scrubbed off some of the graffiti, from the airport where he arrived after the Buenos Aires G20 summit.
He was booed by passers-by as he visited the scene of Saturday‘s violence.
The National Police Alliance had called for a state of emergency, with the deputy national secretary Loic Travers accusing Paris police of failing to filter out “people with bad intentions” before they came to the protests.
Image: Emmanuel Macron (C) visits the scene of the unrest in the French capital Image: Cleaners scrubbed off graffiti reading ‘the yellow vests will triumph’ from the Arc de Triomph before Mr Macron’s visit
Protesters have been wearing the yellow vests which French drivers must carry, prompting the demonstrations to be called Gilets Jaunes – yellow vests.
They quickly escalated as the protests began to also represent a growing dissatisfaction with diminishing living conditions due to other increasing taxes
Politicians blamed far-left and far-right supporters of infiltrating the protests and turning them violent.
The union of restaurateurs and caterers said the effect on the trade was “catastrophic”, saying 50% of tourists in Paris had cancelled their reservations or left the country early, with more and more cancelling elsewhere in France.
Groups of masked young men, some carrying metal bars and axes, were seen running through the streets.
French journalist Hugo Clement was hit in the head by a projectile in Paris as he rode his scooter to a bar on Saturday.
Message de qui n’a pas accès à ses comptes
— Alexandra Rosenfeld ()
His partner, Alexandra Rosenfeld, tweeted a picture of his face after his helmet visor was hit and shattered, then his phone was stolen after it fell to the ground.
She said he was not working at the time and protesters quickly treated him before he was taken to hospital and given seven stitches.
Benjamin Cauchy, a spokesman for Free Yellow Vests, said on Sunday that he wants a “constructive dialogue” with the government.
They blocked off access to a terminal at Nice airport, Marseille experienced large crowds, more than 1,000 people were on Saint-Etienne‘s streets in the Loire Valley, and seven people were injured during clashes in Bordeaux – with one losing several fingers after a pyrotechnic device exploded.
A total of 65,000 security forces were on duty across France, with Mr Castaner saying anybody breaking the law “will be very strongly sanctioned”.
Speaking at the G20 on Saturday evening Mr Macron said: “I will never accept violence.
“No cause justifies that authorities are attacked, that businesses are plundered, that passers-by or journalists are threatened or that the Arc de Triomphe is defiled.”