The Latest: Paris police chief says 112 cars torched in riot

By The Associated Press | Updated - Dec. 2, 2018 at 8:54 p.m. | Posted - Dec. 2, 2018 at 4:18 a.m.

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PARIS (AP) — The latest on French protests against higher taxes (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

The chief of police in Paris has condemned protest-related rioting in the French capital as unprecedented and unacceptable violence.

Police prefect Michel Delpuech said Sunday that fires were started at six buildings and more than 130 makeshift barricades and 112 vehicles were torched.

Delpuech said some participants in Saturday's rioting used hammers, gardening tools, bolts and aerosol cans in clashes with police.

He said some radical far-right or far-left activists were involved in the riot as well as a "great number" of protesters wearing yellow jackets. The jackets are an emblem of a grassroots citizens' movement protesting fuel taxes.

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said 378 people remained in police custody as of Sunday evening. Many of them will go to trial through a rapid procedure on Monday and Tuesday.


5:25 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron has asked his interior minister to consider making "adaptations" to security procedures to try to contain ongoing protests over rising taxes.

The president's office issued a statement after an emergency meeting was held at the presidential palace Sunday to discuss the protests a day earlier in which activists wearing yellow jackets trashed the streets of Paris.

The statement says Macron also asked Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to meet with the heads of France's major political parties and representatives from the grassroots movement behind the protests, "with a concern for dialogue."

Plans for an earlier meeting between the prime minister and representatives of the movement collapsed last week after a request to broadcast the talks live was rejected.


4:30 p.m.

France's interior minister and his deputy are scheduled to brief a parliamentary commission about a tax protest in Paris that devolved into a riot.

The French Senate's law commission said in a statement that the hearing set for Tuesday will focus on the security measures that were in place for the protest and any measures needed to help prevent a repeat of the damage seen Saturday.

Paris police say 133 people were injured and 412 arrested as protesters torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores, threw rocks at police and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with graffiti in the French capital.

The French Senate is dominated by a conservative majority that serves as the opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist party, which has the majority in the lower house of parliament.


1:30 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is holding an emergency government meeting on security issues after Saturday's protest turned into a riot in Paris.

The meeting at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris includes Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.

Environment minister Francois de Rugy, in charge of transports and energy, was also present as the protests were initially prompted two weeks ago by a fuel tax rise.

The "yellow jackets" movement now involves a broad range of demands related to France's high cost of living. Saturday's violence was France's worst riot in over a decade.

Earlier Sunday, Macron visited the damaged Arc de Triomphe monument, then met with firefighters, police officers and restaurant owners in a nearby avenue where yellow jacket activists had torched cars and smashed windows Saturday.


11:55 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris, which had been sprayed with graffiti and damaged in Saturday's protest riot in Paris.

Macron, just back from the G-20 summit in Argentina, went to the Arc de Triomphe to pay tribute to the Unknown Soldier from World War I whose tomb is under the monument. He then headed to a nearby avenue where activists wearing yellow jackets had torched cars and smashed windows Saturday in France's worst urban riot in years. There he met with firefighters and police officers.

Later Sunday, Macron is holding an emergency government meeting on security issues.

Paris police say 133 people were injured and 412 arrested as protesters trashed the streets of the capital Saturday. Police fired tear gas and used water cannon to tamp down the violence.


9:45 a.m.

Paris police say 133 people have been injured and 412 have been arrested as protesters trashed the streets of the capital during France's worst urban riot in years.

French President Emmanuel Macron was holding an emergency meeting on security later Sunday with his prime minister and interior minister. He has vowed that those responsible for the violence and the damages will pay for their actions.

A protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot Saturday in the most popular tourist areas of the French capital. Activists wearing yellow jackets torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores, threw rocks at police and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti. Police responded with tear gas and water cannon, closing down dozens of streets and Metro stations to contain the riot.

By Sunday morning, Paris city employees were cleaning up the graffiti on the Arc de Triomphe. Some of Paris' major avenues near the Arc de Triomphe and streets around the famed Champs-Elysees Avenue and the Tuileries garden were littered with piles of debris and burned cars.

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