‘Shame’ on violent protesters, says Macron for France fuel unrest

French President Emmanuel Macron has lashed out at demonstrators who clashed with police in Paris during the latest protests sparked by rising fuel prices.”Shame on those who attacked” officers, he tweeted. “There is no place for violence in the [French] Republic.”There was chaos on the Champs-Elysées on Saturday as police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters.The demonstrations had been billed by the “yellow vest” movement as “act two” in a campaign that began a week ago.Named after their distinctive high-visibility attire, the protests initially focused on a rise in a fuel duty on diesel.They later grew to reflect anger at rising living costs, particularly in rural areas, and other grievances against President Macron’s policies.Five thousand police had been deployed in Paris. They had set up metal barriers around the Champs-Élysées to stop protesters reaching key buildings such as the president’s office and the national assembly.A spokesperson for the demonstrators insisted that they were peaceful. “We are not here to pick a fight with cops, We just want the government to listen to us,” Laetitia Dewalle told AFP news agency.But in the morning some tried to break through the police cordon. They lit fires, tore down street signs, erected barricades, pulled up paving stones and hurled them at police while shouting slogans against Mr Macron.The chaos continued into the evening, when police cleared most of the area.

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