Update3: As the evening wore on, French officials said that 125,000 protesters took to the streets during "Act IV" of the Yellow Vest anti-government demonstrations, with 10,000 protesting in Paris. In total, 1,385 people were arrested amid an incredibly heavy police presence.
17 members of French law enforcement and over 100 protesters were injured, including a man whose hand was blown off after reportedly picking up a grenade fired by police.
**Graphic at 29 seconds**
Meanwhile, President Trump has taken to trolling French President Emmanuel Macron.
"The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris. Protests and riots all over France. People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment. Chanting ‘We Want Trump!’ Love France," Trump tweeted early Saturday morning.
The Paris Agreement isn’t working out so well for Paris. Protests and riots all over France. People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment. Chanting “We Want Trump!” Love France.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2018
The demonstrations began last month over a proposed fuel tax hike earmarked to pay for climate change measures, before the protests morphed into a general anti-government resistance.
Update2: The French Interior Ministry has announced 1,385 arrests across the country, and that despite tensions remaining in some areas, the situation is "under control." Prime minister Édouard Philippe, however, noted that rioters are still at work in some French cities - adding that a dialogue with the Yellow Jackets has begun, and "must go on."
Update: More live feeds and other information:
Guy with the “wanted” vest told me he’s loves the “France en Colère” Facebook group and then started showing me memes on his phone. pic.twitter.com/rrcPi0g8f7— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) December 8, 2018
Heavy flashbang use. Several protesters hit directly. pic.twitter.com/7hPlrEtRE7— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) December 8, 2018
Paris police resorted to extreme crowd-control measures on Saturday as tens of thousands of "Yellow Vest" protesters descended on the French capital for a fourth weekend of chaos which began over fuel taxes and quickly morphed into general outrage at the Macron government.
There are countless numbers of the yellow vest on the main street here in Paris all kettled in by police who won’t let them leave and are just tear gassing them.— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) December 8, 2018
Zoom in and you won’t be able to see the end of them plus there are thousands more all over the city being kept away pic.twitter.com/2eq1eoWEaF
Tear gas was fired at the protesters who were shouting "Macron, resign" near Champs-Elysees avenue. At least 737 were arrested in Paris.
🔴📹🇫🇷 #France : Un homme avec les mains en l'air se fait tirer dessus délibérément sur les grands boulevards à #Paris— -₽ - 🅣 - 🅐 - (@PorteTonAme) December 8, 2018
La tension commence à être explosive.#8Decembre #GiletsJaunes pic.twitter.com/nqQCIaEBdE
Dozens of people were arrested carrying "masks, hammers, slingshots and rocks," according to AFP.
At least 31,000 protesters came out for Saturday's "Act IV" event - coordinated through social media.
"The movement has given birth to a monster," said Interior Minister Christophe Canaster of the Yellow Vests - which the Macron administration deployed 89,000 police and gendarmes to try and contain. 8,000 police forces were active in Paris alone.
"These past three weeks have produced a monster that its creators no longer control," Canaster said Friday, saying that the administration would have "zero tolerance" to those trying sow chaos.
Philippe on Friday evening met a delegation of self-described "moderate" yellow vests who urged people not to join the protests.
A spokesman from the movement, Christophe Chalencon, said Philippe had "listened to us and promised to take our demands to the president".
"Now we await Mr Macron. I hope he will speak to the people of France as a father, with love and respect and that he will take strong decisions," he said. -AFP
Paris has gone into lockdown as authorities and businesses prepare for the mayhem - as shops, banks, restaurants and other businesses boarded up to prevent anticipated looting and property destruction. As we reported on thursday, the Eiffel Tower will be among the shuttered tourist attractions around the city.
Right after 10:00 a.m. local time the rally turned violent and police fired tear gas canisters into the crowd and deployed their fleet of VBRG armored vehicles next to the Arc de Triomphe, which was the site to last week's most intense violence.
Dozens of cars aflame, 500 arrested so far today in anti-Macron riots pic.twitter.com/QKHbrnfNgf— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) December 8, 2018
The US embassy issued a warning to Americans currently in Paris to "keep a low provile and avoid crowds," while Portugal, Belgium and the Czech Republic suggested the postponement of any planned visits.
The protests have spread to other countries as well. In Brussels, Yellow Vests rushed the European Parliament building.