I will never accept violence, says Macron
President Emmanuel Macron has denounced violent protests this weekend that saw Gilets Jaunes demonstrators torching cars, smashing up storefronts and clashing with police across the country.
The interior ministry said around 136,000 people took to the streets across the country in the third straight weekend of protests against rising fuel taxes.
Many of the gatherings took place peacefully but Paris was again a scene of violence, as demonstrators built barricades on and around the Champs-Elysées, lighting fires and throwing rocks at police officers.
Nearby, Paris’s Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores were evacuated as the chaos spread.
Paris police figures show 412 people were arrested, with 378 people still in custody on Sunday morning after the clashes, which saw more than 130 people injured, 23 of them from the security forces.
'They betray the cause they pretend to serve'
“I will never accept violence,” President Macron told a news conference at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.
“No cause justifies that authorities are attacked, that businesses are plundered, that passers-by or journalists are threatened or that the Arc du Triomphe is defiled,” he said.
He said that those who carry out this violence do not want change or improvements. “They want chaos. They betray the causes that they pretend to serve and which they manipulate.” He also added that the perpetrators “will be identified and brought to justice for their actions.”
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