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In Photos: ‘Yellow Vest’ Activists Clash With French Police

Grassroots protests began Nov. 17 in France with motorists upset over a fuel tax hike but soon grew to encompass a broad range of frustrations related to the country's high cost of living and the perception that President Emmanuel Macron is out of touch and does not care about the problems of ordinary French citizens.

17 photos
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Chris McGrath/Getty Images
A protester throws a tear gas canister back at police during a 'yellow vest' demonstration near the Arc de Triomphe on Dec. 8, 2018, in Paris France. The grassroots 'yellow vests' ('Gilet Jaunes' or 'Vestes Jaunes') movement has no explicit political affiliation but was inspired by popular opposition to a new fuel tax. After a month of destructive and sometimes violent protests in Paris and other French cities, there are fears the movement has been infiltrated by 'ultra-violent' protesters. As many as 5,000 demonstrators gathered in the Parisian city center for the 4th weekend of demonstrations and more than 200 were arrested.
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Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
A passerby snaps the protest graffiti marking the ongoing protests in France at Gare Saint-Lizare on Dec. 9, 2018, in Paris.
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Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Anti- Macron graffiti serves as a backdrop on the Champs-Elysees following a fourth week of the 'yellow vests' demonstrations, with crowds protesting rising fuel prices and the Macron government, which many say is not representative of ordinary French citizens, on Dec. 9, 2018, in Paris.
4/17
Christophe Ena/AP
A worker clears debris in a bank as a man watches through smashed windows on Dec. 9, 2018, in Paris. Paris monuments reopened, cleanup workers cleared debris and shop owners tried to put the city on its feet again Sunday after running battles between yellow-vested protesters and riot police left 71 injured and caused widespread damage to the French capital.
5/17
Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images
A woman boards up the windows of a Paris shop on Dec. 9, 2018, amid weeks of 'yellow vest' demonstrations throughout France against fuel tax hikes and the Macron government.
6/17
Rafael Yaghobzadeh/AP
A lone demonstrator waves a French flag amid ongoing street protests in Paris. Crowds of yellow-vested protesters angry at President Emmanuel Macron and France's high taxes were met with police firing tear gas when they attempted to converge on the presidential palace on Dec. 8, 2018. Police had increased security measures to prevent a repeat of the previous week's violent street clashes.
7/17
AP Photo/Thibault Camus
Demonstrators gather around a burning barricade during clashes with riots police, in Paris, France, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. Crowds of protesters angry at President Emmanuel Macron and France's high taxes tried to converge on the presidential palace Saturday, some scuffling with police firing tear gas.
8/17
Thibault Camus/AP
A bin burns in the street as <a href="/news/national-international/Eiffel-Tower-Closed-Paris-Protests-502145731.html" target="_blank">French school children demonstrate</a> on Dec.7, 2018, Paris. Footage showing the brutal arrest of high school students protesting outside Paris fueled the frustration and anger driving the ongoing street protests across the country.
9/17
David Vincent/AP
Demonstrators stand in front of a makeshift barricade set up by the so-called yellow jackets to block the entrance of a fuel depot in Le Mans, western France, on Dec. 5, 2018. The French government's decision to suspend fuel tax and utility hikes Tuesday did little to appease protesters. Though some acknowledged the move as a "first step," they vowed to continue demonstrating against the government.
10/17
Michel Euler/AP
An ambulance worker holds a flare as he and his fellows block the Place de la Concorde in Paris, Dec. 3, 2018. Ambulance workers took to the streets and gathered close to the National Assembly in downtown Paris to protest working conditions as French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was holding crisis talks with representatives of major political parties in the wake of violent anti-government protests that have rocked Paris.
11/17
Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images
A car burns outside the Lycee Professionnel Jean-Pierre Timbaud high school after being set ablaze by students protesting against French government education reforms on Dec. 3, 2018, in the north of Paris' suburb of Aubervilliers.
12/17
Thibault Camus/AP
A man takes a snapshot of charred cars the day after a demonstration near the Arc de Triomphe on Dec. 2, 2018, in Paris. Frustration and outrage escalated during the weekend's street protests against the Macron government as activists torched cars, smashed windows and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with graffiti.
13/17
Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images
Clouds of tear gas surround protesters as they clash with riot police during a 'yellow vest' demonstration near the Arc de Triomphe on Dec. 1, 2018, in Paris. The third 'yellow vest' (gilets jaunes) rally in Paris over increased fuel taxes and leadership in the government caused <a href="/news/national-international/French-Prime-Minister-Fuel-Tax-Hikes-Delay-Protests-501858131.html" target="_blank">over 150 arrests in the city</a> with reports of injuries to protesters and security forces.
14/17
Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images
Riot police clash with protesters amid clouds of tear gas during a <a href="/news/national-international/French-Prime-Minister-Fuel-Tax-Hikes-Delay-Protests-501858131.html" target="_blank">'yellow vest' demonstration</a> near the Arc de Triomphe on Dec. 1, 2018, in Paris.
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Demonstrators clad in yellow vests protest in Marseille, France, on Dec. 1, 2018, against rising fuel costs and government negligence, which they say led to the collapse of dilapidated residential buildings, killing 8 people in early November.
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AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu
A demonstrator watches a burning car near the Champs-Elysees during a demonstration on Dec.1, 2018, in Paris. French authorities deployed thousands of police on Paris' Champs-Elysees avenue to try to contain protests by people angry over rising taxes and Emmanuel Macron's presidency.
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EFE
A demonstrator clad in a yellow vest waves the French flag on a burning barricade on the Champs-Elysees with the Arc de Triomphe in background during a demonstration against rising fuel taxes, on Nov. 24, 2018, in Paris.
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