France’s ‘yellow vest’ protesters back on the streets

France's Yellow Vests take to streets for Act 16 of protests

France's Yellow Vests take to streets for Act 16 of protests

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In Paris, about 4,000 participants made a seven mile journey shadowed by a strong police presence but for the most part, the demonstration was conducted in peace, until authorities sought to disperse protesters on San Elizé Boulevard with high-pressurer water cannons.

Yellow vests demonstrators have gathered to protest against French President Emmanuel Macron's economic policies for the 16th week in a row.

Gilets Jaunes or "Yellow Vest" protestors chant and call for President Macron to resign as protestors try to block the Arc de Triomphe during the 16th straight weekend of demonstrations on March 2, 2019 in Paris, France.

The Interior Ministry reported that around 5,600 people were protesting across the country at 2pm on Saturday - at the same time last week it was nearly double that number.

Unlike previous demonstrations, Paris officials authorized a designated route for Saturday's "Act 16" anti-government marchers - a span of road beginning at the Arc de Triomphe and ending at Place Denfert-Rochereau in the south of the city.

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Motorists will be paying 74 cents more per litre of petrol and between 91 and 93 cents more per litre of diesel from Wednesday. This is the second consecutive increase in fuel price this year.

In the western city of Nantes police used teargas, rubber bullets and water cannon against protesters, some of whom hurled projectiles at them.

Despite the relatively low turnout, large parts of central Paris were in lockdown as thousands of police cordoned off key areas around the presidential palace and government buildings.

"Stop this violence. the place to express your view in a democratic way is at the debates", Labour Minister Muriel Penicaud told LCI television, referring to government-organized nationwide debates where citizens can express their views.

They quickly grew into a broader anti-government rebellion fuelled by anger towards Macron.

After boosting government support for low-income workers by some 10 billion euros ($11.4 billion) at the start of the year and starting a series on marathon debates with local representatives, Macron's approval ratings have gradually recovered in recent weeks.

According to the various calls launched on social networks, actions are planned in numerous cities in the country such as Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse and Lille, in which several thousand people are expected to participate.

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