Louvre and Eiffel Tower to close as Paris readies for 'significant violence'

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"According to the information we have, some radicalized and rebellious people will try to get mobilized tomorrow", Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said during a Friday news conference.

The Twitter page for the Eiffel Tower confirmed the closure, adding that a "particularly long wait time" is expected for last-minute visitors to the attraction on Friday.

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.

Paris police, fearing that radical protesters could turn street furniture and construction materials into makeshift weapons, on Friday were removing all glass containers, railings and construction machines in high-risk areas.

Across the country, France is mobilizing some 89,000 police, up from 65,000 last weekend, when more than 130 people were injured and over 400 arrested as protests degenerated into the worst street violence to hit Paris in decades.

At least four of the weekend's first division football matches have been cancelled.

The "yellow vest" protests began on November 17 in opposition to rising fuel taxes, but they have since expanded into a broad challenge to Macron's pro-business agenda and style of governing.

Amid the unrest, some of the protesters, French union officials and prominent politicians across the political spectrum have urged calm especially as French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to abandon the fuel tax hike that triggered the movement.

Around 200 French high schools were blocked or disrupted on Thursday by students protesting a raft of education overhauls, on a fourth day of action called to coincide with anti-government demonstrations which have rocked the country in recent weeks.

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The images, filmed Thursday at Mantes-la-Jolie, showed students on their knees with their hands behind their head being watched over by armed, masked police officers.

Saturday's protests are the latest part of the Yellow Jackets movement, named after the neon-yellow security vests demonstrators have been wearing and that motorists are required by law to have in their vehicles.

Castaner, the interior minister, said 151 people were arrested in the small town, some carrying weapons.

"We're the ones who are going to eventually have to pay higher fuel prices", said Ines, one of around 150 high school students demonstrating in the southern Paris suburb of Cachan.

The rioting in France has also had an economic impact at the height of the holiday shopping season.

"These vehicles can be very useful to protect buildings", said Stanislas Gaudon, head of the Alliance police union. Rampaging groups last weekend threw cobblestones through Paris storefronts and looted valuables in some of the city's richest neighborhoods.

He said the Louvre museum, Orsay museum, the two operas, and the Grand Palais were among the sites that would be closed a week after rioters looted and defaced the Arc de Triomphe. "And in case they set up barricades, we can quickly clear out the space and let our units progress".

"We need to protect culture sites in Paris but also everywhere in France", Culture Minister Franck Riester told RTL radio.

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