By Yusuf Ozcan</p> <p>PARIS (AA) – The “yellow vest” protests which started as a reaction to additional tax on fuel in France have turned into an anti-government movement. </p> <p>Demonstrators, who generally live in rural areas due to high rents in the city center, have demanded from President Emmanuel Macron a reduction in fuel taxes and to make economic arrangements that will ease their lives.
The additional taxes on fuel were the last straw for the protesters who are backed by 84 percent of the French people, according to a survey.
“Yellow vest” protesters say they will continue to take to the streets across the country until their demands are met.
The French police on Saturday cracked down on protesters around the famous Champs-Elysees Street in capital Paris with tear gas and water cannons.
Demonstrators set a large number of vehicles and trash cans ablaze and pelted stones and bottles at the police.
They called for Macron's resignation and sprayed slogans against him on the walls.
Some tried to cross the security barriers to the Elysee Palace but police blocked them using tear gas.
Streets in several cities were closed for traffic.
Police in the southern city of Marseilles clashed with demonstrators who set many spots ablaze.
There were also tense moments witnessed between the police and the demonstrators in the city of Toulouse.
Protesters threw molotov cocktails into the Haute-Loire District Governor's Office. A fire in the building caused damage.
Saturday’s demonstrations saw around 75,000 people across the country, including thousands in Paris.
Opposition parties criticized the government for allowing violence in demonstrations and trying to undermine the legitimacy of protesters.
A total of 287 people were arrested in Paris on Saturday, while at least 110 people, including 17 police officers, were injured.
So far, at least two people have been killed and 890 people, including 158 security forces, injured, 1,081 detained, and nine protesters sentenced to four months in jail during the ongoing demonstrations since Nov. 17.
Speaking during a press conference of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on Saturday, Macron said that those who are responsible for the attack on police officers and vandalizing property will be "held responsible for their acts".
The president said he would not accept violence and was ready to negotiate legitimate demands of the protesters.