Yellow vest (gilets jaunes) protesters have gathered both in Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium. The police organized themselves differently versus last weekend, being much more confrontational at the first sign of trouble. In Paris, there is tear gas being shot at any group of protesters that wants to engage with the police or attempts to break property. In Brussels, small groups are seeking confrontations with the police as they move towards the European Commission buildings.
Two border posts between France and Belgium will remain closed for the day
According to a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, some 31.000 "yellow vests" are currently protesting in France, of which 8,000 in Paris. A total of 700 arrests already took place, including 575 in Paris. Police reported that by noon today some 5,000 people had been checked for illegal weaponry with "numerous arrests of violent individuals carrying dangerous objects".
Anyone wanting to enter the Champs-Elysées was extensively searched. Compared with a week ago, the police is doing things differently, admitted Minister of Home Affairs Mr Christophe Castaner. "There are more controls, more direct interventions."
Some 8,000 police officers have been deployed in Paris, some 89,000 across France. In the capital, the security forces are also using fourteen armored vehicles.
In Marseille, a thousand yellow vests are protesting, several arrests were made in Grenoble and Bordeaux.
The main problem is one the French motorways where many fuel stations are running dry and the Franco-Belgian border crossing.
The Belgian capital Brussels, which houses both the NATO headquarters and the European Commission building, is seeing violent protests just as last Friday.
Some 500 protesters are seeking the confrontation with riot police.
This time round the police officers are being targeted with stones, smoke bombs and tear gas. They are responding with more tear gas and water cannons. The protesters are trying to get towards the European Commission building where small skirmishes have started.
Over in the US, President Donald Trump mocked his French counterpart as the first images of rioting started to roll in.
Mr Trump stated: “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.”
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