The Latest: French protests ahead despite Macron concession

The Latest: French protests ahead despite Macron concession
A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) (Claude Paris)

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on mass protests in France (all times local):

9:20 p.m.

French protesters are welcoming President Emmanuel Macron's decision to scrap a fuel tax rise planned for next year — but say it may not be enough to contain public anger.

Jacline Mouraud, one of the group's self-proclaimed spokespeople, told The Associated Press "I think it comes much too late."

She said each of the disparate protesting groups will decide what to do next, but many will probably keep protesting. She says Macron's move on Wednesday night "is on the right path but in my opinion it will not fundamentally change the movement."

Demonstrators stand in front of a makeshift barricade set up by the so-called yellow jackets to block the entrance of a fuel depot in Le Mans, western France, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2018. French government's decision to suspend fuel tax and utility hikes Tuesday did little to appease protesters, who called the move a "first step" and vowed to fight on after large-scale rioting in Paris last weekend. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
Demonstrators stand in front of a makeshift barricade set up by the so-called yellow jackets to block the entrance of a fuel depot in Le Mans, western France, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2018. French government's decision to suspend fuel tax and utility hikes Tuesday did little to appease protesters, who called the move a "first step" and vowed to fight on after large-scale rioting in Paris last weekend. (AP Photo/David Vincent) (AP)

She urged protesters to seize on the French government's weakness to push other demands such as a rise in the minimum wage.

A demonstrator stands in front of a makeshift barricade set up by the so-called yellow jackets to block the entrance of a fuel depot in Le Mans, western France, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2018, with banner reading "Stop the Government racket". French government's decision to suspend fuel tax and utility hikes Tuesday did little to appease protesters, who called the move a "first step" and vowed to fight on after large-scale rioting in Paris last weekend. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
A demonstrator stands in front of a makeshift barricade set up by the so-called yellow jackets to block the entrance of a fuel depot in Le Mans, western France, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2018, with banner reading "Stop the Government racket". French government's decision to suspend fuel tax and utility hikes Tuesday did little to appease protesters, who called the move a "first step" and vowed to fight on after large-scale rioting in Paris last weekend. (AP Photo/David Vincent) (AP)

The anti-government protests started last month over the fuel tax but have grown to encompass a broad range of grievances and anger at Macron. More protests are planned Saturday in Paris.

Un individuo coonduce su bicicleta frente a automóviles incendiados cerca del Arco del Triunfo en París, Francia, el domingo 2 de diciembre de 2018. La zona fue sitio de protestas contra la subida de impuestos y el alto costo de la vida. (AP Foto/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Un individuo coonduce su bicicleta frente a automóviles incendiados cerca del Arco del Triunfo en París, Francia, el domingo 2 de diciembre de 2018. La zona fue sitio de protestas contra la subida de impuestos y el alto costo de la vida. (AP Foto/Kamil Zihnioglu) (AP)

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French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe speaks at the National Assembly during the questions to the government session in Paris, Tuesday, Dec.4, 2018. The French government's decision to suspend fuel tax and utility hikes Tuesday did little to appease protesters, who called the move a "first step" and vowed to fight on after large-scale rioting in Paris last weekend. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe speaks at the National Assembly during the questions to the government session in Paris, Tuesday, Dec.4, 2018. The French government's decision to suspend fuel tax and utility hikes Tuesday did little to appease protesters, who called the move a "first step" and vowed to fight on after large-scale rioting in Paris last weekend. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) (AP)

8:55 p.m.

Demonstrators stand near a makeshift barricade set up by the so-called yellow jackets to block the entrance of a fuel depot in Le Mans, western France, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2018. The French government's decision to suspend fuel tax and utility hikes Tuesday did little to appease protesters, who called the move a "first step" and vowed to fight on after large-scale rioting in Paris last weekend. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
Demonstrators stand near a makeshift barricade set up by the so-called yellow jackets to block the entrance of a fuel depot in Le Mans, western France, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2018. The French government's decision to suspend fuel tax and utility hikes Tuesday did little to appease protesters, who called the move a "first step" and vowed to fight on after large-scale rioting in Paris last weekend. (AP Photo/David Vincent) (AP)

French President Emmanuel Macron has scrapped a fuel tax rise amid fears of new violence, after weeks of nationwide protests and the worst rioting in Paris in decades.

A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) (AP)

An official with the Elysee palace told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the president decided to get rid of the tax.

A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) (AP)

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told lawmakers that "the tax is now abandoned" in the 2019 budget, and the government is "ready for dialogue." The budget can be adjusted or renegotiated through the course of the year.

A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest, one referring to the 1789 French Revolution, occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest, one referring to the 1789 French Revolution, occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) (AP)

Three weeks of protests have left four people dead and were a massive challenge to Macron.

A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest, one referring to the 1789 French Revolution, talk to a truck driver as they occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest, one referring to the 1789 French Revolution, talk to a truck driver as they occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) (AP)

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A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest and sitting on a concrete block reading "Macron you will bow down" , occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest and sitting on a concrete block reading "Macron you will bow down" , occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) (AP)

4:10 p.m.

A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. On poster reads: Macron resigns, National Assembly dissolution. People suffering. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. On poster reads: Macron resigns, National Assembly dissolution. People suffering. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) (AP)

One of the activists leading France's protest movement says that he fears more deaths if Saturday's demonstration goes ahead, and called for President Emmanuel Macron to speak out and bring calm.

A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. On poster reads: Macron resigns, National Assembly dissolution. People suffering. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A group of demonstrators wearing their yellow vest occupy a traffic circle, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 outside La Mede oil refinery, near Martigues, southeastern France. Trade unions and farmers pledged Wednesday to join nationwide protests against President Emmanuel Macron, as concessions by the government failed to stem the momentum of the most violent demonstrations France has seen in decades. On poster reads: Macron resigns, National Assembly dissolution. People suffering. (AP Photo/Claude Paris) (AP)

Christophe Chalencon said that "if not there will be chaos," with risks of more deaths.

A demonstrator holds a french flag at the toll gates on a motorway at Biarritz southwestern France, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.T he concessions made by French president Emmanuel Macron's government in a bid to stop the huge and violent anti-government demonstrations seemed on Wednesday to have failed to convince protesters, with trade unions and disgruntled farmers now threatening to join the fray.(AP Photo/Bob Edme)
A demonstrator holds a french flag at the toll gates on a motorway at Biarritz southwestern France, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.T he concessions made by French president Emmanuel Macron's government in a bid to stop the huge and violent anti-government demonstrations seemed on Wednesday to have failed to convince protesters, with trade unions and disgruntled farmers now threatening to join the fray.(AP Photo/Bob Edme) (AP)

Chalencon said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press that the grassroots movement, triggered by fuel tax hikes, has grown amid Macron's silence.

A demonstrator wearing a yellow jacket reading " Macron give us the wealth tax" protests at the toll gates on a motorway at Biarritz southwestern France, Wednesday, Dec.5, 2018.The concessions made by French president Emmanuel Macron's government in a bid to stop the huge and violent anti-government demonstrations seemed on Wednesday to have failed to convince protesters, with trade unions and disgruntled farmers now threatening to join the fray.(AP Photo/Bob Edme)
A demonstrator wearing a yellow jacket reading " Macron give us the wealth tax" protests at the toll gates on a motorway at Biarritz southwestern France, Wednesday, Dec.5, 2018.The concessions made by French president Emmanuel Macron's government in a bid to stop the huge and violent anti-government demonstrations seemed on Wednesday to have failed to convince protesters, with trade unions and disgruntled farmers now threatening to join the fray.(AP Photo/Bob Edme) (AP)

Four people have died since protests began in November. Violent rampaging last Saturday devastated the French capital.

Chalencon, a 52-year-old blacksmith, said the public needed Macron to "admit he made a mistake, with simple words ... that touch the guts and heart of the French."

He said the prime minister's announcement Tuesday of a freeze on tax hikes "had no resonance."

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11 a.m.

The concessions made by France's prime minister in a bid to stop the huge and violent anti-government demonstrations that have been rocking France over the past three weeks, seem to have so far failed to convince protesters, with trade unions and farmers now threatening to join the fray.

A day after Edouard Philippe announced a suspension of planned fuel tax hikes that kicked off protests, the "yellow vest" protest movement showed no sign of slowing down on Wednesday. Students opposed to a university application system remained mobilized, trucking unions called for a rolling strike and France's largest farm union threatened to launch protests next week.

A joint statement from the CGT and FO trucking unions protesting a cut to overtime rates called for action from Sunday night.