The French government says it fears “major violence” in Paris on Saturday as the national “yellow vests” protest movement shows little sign of easing.
The government said it was scrapping fuel tax increases in the budget – the original spark for the protests.
But the movement has since grown into a wider expression of anger about rising living costs, and Saturday’s planned rally looks set to go ahead.
Recent protests have turned violent, causing millions of euros in damage.
The government appealed for calm after making its political concessions – but on Thursday, protests continued in pockets around France as discontent spread beyond the core movement.
What is the government worried about?
The protest on Saturday 1 December descended into the worst rioting seen in decades, with hundreds of injuries and arrests.
Many protesters are law-abiding French citizens, engaged in a street protest that has huge public support and is widely seen as a legitimate democratic action.
However, without any central structure or official leaders, extremists and “troublemakers” are suspected of joining the rallies and inciting violence, the interior minister said earlier this week.
Sources at the presidential palace expressed the government’s concern about continued violence on Wednesday night.
French health minister Agnès Buzyn, speaking to RTL Radio on Thursday morning, said: “There is a concern about this violence, and some who do not want to find a solution.”
The government is considering mobilising the military to protect important national monuments, French broadcaster BFMTV reported, after the world-famous Arc de Triomphe was damaged last week.