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Paris in flames: The photos out of France are getting more intense as city braces for more protests

(Source: marketwatch.com)

The City of Light is battling flames this week.

Protests in France have escalated over the past several days, resulting in four deaths and damage to the capital city.

In response, France has mobilized tens of thousands of police officers and made plans to shut down more than a dozen tourist attractions including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.

The drastic security measures will put central Paris in lockdown mode Saturday, disrupting the plans of tourists and Parisians alike.

Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

A car burns outside the Lycee Professionnel Jean-Pierre Timbaud in Aubervilliers after being set ablaze by students protesting Monday against French government education reforms.

On Friday, workers across Paris lugged pieces of plywood and hammered boards over the windows of shops and businesses — making the plush Champs-Élysées appear as if it was bracing for a hurricane.

Some top French officials said that description was not far off.

“According to the information we have, some radicalized and rebellious people will try to get mobilized tomorrow,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told a news conference on Friday. “Some ultraviolent people want to take part.”

Initially, grass-roots protesters were complaining about a sharp increase in diesel taxes, and they have demonstrated since mid-November.

The French politician Ségolène Royal, who ran against Nicolas Sarkozy in the presidential run-off in 2007, said in an interview with the Financial Times this week that the demonstrations are the biggest crisis of French President Emmanuel Macron’s presidency.

“It’s quite simple,” she said. “People have had enough of taxes.”

But Macron on Wednesday agreed to abandon the fuel-tax hike, and protesters’ demands have now expanded to other issues, including changes being made to key high-school tests in France.

Associated Press

School children demonstrate Friday in Paris.

Here are some of the photos of the protests so far.

Associated Press

A worker cleans graffiti reading “long term unrest” on Friday near the heavily touristed shopping thoroughfare Champs-Élysées.

Associated Press

School children demonstrate Friday in Paris.

Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Dozens of ambulances block Place de la Concorde and bridge leading to the French National Assembly during a protest of ambulance drivers against working conditions and for the withdrawal of the newly approved Article 80 of the finance act on social security.

Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images

Burned cars on a street in Paris, a day after clashes during a protest of “Yellow Vests” against rising fuel prices and living costs.

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More Info: marketwatch.com

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