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By Saphora Smith
PARIS – The French capital was closed on Saturday When the city thought itself ready Many people fear that the most violent protests in weeks will be violent demonstrations against the government that has reduced the country to rubble.
Protests that began last month against planned tax hikes on gasoline have since turned into a broader reprimand of Emmanuel Macron's presidency and a turnaround on his attempts to reform France's long-troubled economy.
Almost eight in ten French supporters support the protests, according to a poll released last week. On Saturday morning, Paris was largely deserted as the riot police waited on street corners and the first streams of protesters headed for the Champs Elysees, singing the country's iconic national anthem and waving the tricolor flag as they passed the presidential palace.
The storefronts on the world-famous street – the scene of clashes between protesters and the police last week – were barricaded behind plywood panels as preparations for even more violence.
According to the authorities, hundreds of people were already in detention when police fired tear gas at demonstrators.
Officials said they intended to station 8,000 police in the capital on Saturday when Interior Minister Christophe Castaner warned that "ultra-violent people" would try "According to the information we have, some are becoming radicalized and rebellious try to mobilize tomorrow, "said Castaner in a press conference on Friday.
The glittering museums and galleries of Paris – including the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower – said they would not open their doors to the usual tourists of the season.
Football matches were also referred to as Akros The Land.
As the Parisians prepared for another weekend of destruction, the vast majority who spoke to NBC News on Friday said they supported the ills of the so-called Yellow Jackets.
While many said they said they were worried by the escalating violence of the protests, saying that they shared the frustration of the demonstrators. The high cost of living in France and Macron's appetite for reform.
"There is a lot of anger in France right now," said the retired baker André Rubinot, whose old boulangerie stands in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.
"The president has too many reforms, and he goes too fast without asking anyone – fast, fast, fast," he said.
Like others, Rubinot complained that life had become too expensive as he adopted various household goods whose price had risen. "A baguette costs now 20 euros," said the 68-year-old disbelievingly.
The French were never interested in reforms and tend to quickly fall in love with their presidents. 19659009] Macron, a former investment banker who came to power on the reformist agenda, should be different.
The young centrist promised to overtake the generous welfare state of the country, which redistributed wealth in society with high taxes for the rich.
France has a high level of social security and workers' rights, which makes it difficult to implement pro-business reforms despite continuing unemployment.
Although he enjoys a high profile on a global scale, he has barely mastered legislation. Legislation is at the heart of his domestic agenda.
Macron had demonstrations to fight during his year-round tenure, but the protests of the "Yellow Jacket" pose a more fundamental challenge to his authority.
A November poll showed that only 26 people a day were cents of the French has a positive one Opinion about their president.
Based on these results, Macron is now less popular than his predecessors Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy in the same phase of their presidencies. Both would eventually leave office through opposition and scandal.
The protests picked up even more this week after French farmers and unions joined the fight.
Students also protested in a series of demonstrations across France Some say they protest in solidarity with the "Yellow Jackets".
As the various grievances began to unite on the pallet of dissatisfaction, many people in Paris said that it was becoming increasingly difficult for Macron to formulate an explanation to end the riots.
In a last attempt to quell the turmoil, Macron agreed on Wednesday to abandon the gas tax hikes he had previously defended as necessary to help reduce France's dependency on fossil fuels.
Concessions seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
Many of them accused Macron of not listening to people in the streets of Paris on Friday and some said his U-turn was too little
"The government should do more, it should react better "said Abdul Asis, a 28-year-old construction worker who described himself as" 100 percent behind the yellow jackets ".
Joseph Downing, an expert in French politics at the London School of Economics, agreed that the protests were about "much more" than gasoline taxation.
"It's the whole idea of the squeezed middle or squeezed upper working class who has a feeling of claiming a steadily rising standard of living, but something no politician can provide," he said.
"Here we have seen a disempowerment with Sarkozy, with Hollande and now with Macron."
The Self The organized approach of protest, which emerged from the depths of social media, is also a relatively recent phenomenon in France where historically people have relied on the powerful unions to organize dissatisfaction.
Several People Speaking to NBC News Said The Strength of The "Yellow Jackets" lie in the fact that the protest is not specifically associated with a political party or union and has therefore united parts of the population.
"Politicians are scared because they do not know how to stop them," said Julian Guillo, a 23-year-old real estate student, "It's not an organization, it's the people."
Several people judged their frustration directly on Macron, whom they described as being robbed.
"He is the president of the rich," said student leader Louis Boyard at the high school protest on Friday. "The youth are angry, we are against Emmanuel Macron. "
Among the many complaints raised in the protest were changes in university admissions procedures and fees that students and teachers said would make admission more selective and limit access to higher education. 19659012] High school students holding banners during a demonstration march from Stalingrad to the Place de la Republique on Friday in Paris. Philippe Lopez / AFP – Getty Images  "We need to get rid of Macron to become a more just society," said 18-year-old Homa Javadi, who said she supports the Yellow Jacket business.
But although anger is widespread, the appetite for violence and destruction is not.
"Vandalizing the Arc de Triomphe is unacceptable," said Lea Chauvet, a high school graduate who chatted with a friend on Friday outside the Pantheon, a mausoleum of respected citizens of the Republic.
"I do not want to associate with it , "Pe Ople, who is destroying everything," she added, explaining one reason why she would not go to the rally.
Not only the students blame Macron. Rubinot, the baker, said the president was talking to the people and portraying himself as "royal."
The fact that Macron has largely held back since investigating the damage after last weekend's protests has been Concerned even more angry For signs of change from the Presidential Palace.
"He says nothing and the country is on fire," said Meredith Saban, 38, a director of a human resources department who said who has a cigarette on the Champs-Elysée. 19659058] "He mocks people."