Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Eiffel Tower to be closed as Paris braces for more protests

Published:Friday | December 7, 2018 | 9:22 AM
AP photo

PARIS (AP) — France was mobilising tens of thousands of police officers and closing landmarks including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre as authorities warned that anti-government protests on Saturday could be even more violent than the ones that have crippled the country for weeks.

“According to the information we have, some radicalised and rebellious people will try to get mobilised tomorrow,” Interior minister Christophe Castaner told a press conference on Friday. “Some ultra-violent people want to take part.”

Authorities say 8,000 police will fan out across Paris, equipped with a dozen barricade-busting armoured vehicles that could be used for the first time in a French urban area since 2005.

“These vehicles can be very useful to protect buildings,” said Stanislas Gaudon, the head of police union Alliance. “And in case they set up barricades, we can quickly clear out the space and let our units progress.”

At the height of the festive shopping season, many Paris store owners were boarding up their shop fronts and have said they will remain shut Saturday for fear they may be in the line of any unrest between protesters and police.