At midday on the Champs-Elysees, now filled with clouds of tear gas, thousands were squaring up to the riot police who stopped them marching on Macron’s palace.Having first boxed the protesters into the boulevard, officers later chased them into side streets.High above, disappearing in and out of grey clouds, a police helicopter circled.As it did in previous weeks, the middle of the afternoon brought sinister elements on to the front line.The chanting suddenly gave way to violence.

By nightfall, protesters were back on the Champs-Elysees, fighting pitched battles with police among the Christmas lights.In response to tear gas, they let off flares.”This is what happens when you govern against your people,” said one protester.”It’s a lesson for Macron – but I think it’s one he may have learned too late.”Nearly 500 miles away in Marseilles, police brought armoured vehicles on to the streets as a 2,000-strong protest turned violent.

The city center was taken over by marauding gangs of youths as they smashed bank windows, looted and set Christmas trees ablaze.In Brussels, protesters threw paving stones, road signs, fireworks, flares and other objects at police blocking their entry to an area where government buildings and the parliament are located.And while the streets resemble something closer to a war zone than a civilized society, France’s “leader,” President Macron, is nowhere to be seen.

Vive la France.

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