Masked, black-clad groups ran amok across central Paris on Saturday, torching cars and buildings, looting shops, smashing windows and fighting police in the worst unrest the capital has seen since 1968. Disturbances also rocked several cities and towns and across France – from Charleville Mezieres in the northeast to Nantes in the west and Marseille in the south. “We have to think about the measures that can be taken so that these incidents don’t happen again,” government spokeswoman Benjamin Griveaux told media. Regarding the fuel tax, Interior Minister Christople Castaner said: “We won’t change course. It’s the right direction. We are certain of that.”
In Paris, police said they had arrested more than 400 people. 133 were injured, including 23 members of the security forces. Imposing a state of emergency is among the options considered. ‘‘What happened today in Paris has nothing to do with the peaceful expression of legitimate anger,” Mr. Macron said on Saturday. “Nothing justifies attacking the security forces, vandalizing businesses, either private or public ones, or that passers-by or journalists are threatened, or the Arc de Triomphe defaced.” On Sunday, Mr. Macron returned to Paris from the Group of 20 summit meeting in Argentina and went to the Arc de Triomphe to assess the damage. Multiple surveys of public opinion released in the past week suggest that 70 percent to 80 percent of French people sympathize with the Yellow Vests.