Strong police presence in Paris before planned protests
PARIS (AP) — A strong police presence has deployed in Paris before planned demonstrations by the “yellow vest” protesters, with authorities repeating calls for calm after previous violent protests and rioting.
Security forces in riot gear were positioned Saturday morning around central train stations and along the famed Champs-Elysees boulevard, where shops were closed and boarded up in anticipation of the protests. Last weekend, groups of demonstrators smashed and looted stores and set up burning barricades in the streets.
There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags for helmets and other potential signs of trouble. More than 20 police vans and a water cannon truck idled nearby.
President Emanuel Macron on Friday called for calm during the demonstrations.