French gov't plans tough security measures for fears of "great violence" on Saturday protests

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PARIS, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- As France is bracing for fresh country-wide social action this weekend, the government has planned tough security measures to handle "great violence" on Saturday's demonstrations, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Thursday.

He told senators that an unspecified number of additional new forces would be deployed on top of the 65,000 security officers already in place for the protests in Paris and elsewhere.

"We will continue to arrest and bring to justice anyone caught in the act of violence or degradation. We will continue to show the utmost firmness," he said.

Last Saturday, after police cordoned off the Champs-Elysees, about 3,000 rioters mixed with peaceful demonstrators went to adjacent streets where they torched several vehicles, smashed glass-fronted facades of luxury boutiques.

"The events of last Saturday should incite us to exercise the utmost caution and determination," Philippe said.

Furthermore, Paris prefecture recommended restaurants and shops lining the Champs Elysees avenue and in adjacent streets to remain closed on concerns of escalating violence.

With no leader, "Yellow Vests" movement, which got its name from the high visibility vests drivers keep in their cars, was created on social media. When it began on Nov. 17, protests were against a rise in carbon tax which President Emmanuel Macron says is necessary to combat climate change. Enditem

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