Paris is burning. The tear gas sears the Parisian air leaving clouds of grey noxious smoke infiltrating every part of the once peaceful boulevards.
The barricades, some on fire, are resting places for any furniture that can be found, at one road, an upright piano has been deposited in the middle. Amongst the clattering of stones and canisters, a solitary man in a yellow jacket is playing the Marseillaise, but is cut short as a phalanx of riot troops converge on his position.
It is the noise that hits you at first, the whistles, the explosions, the clattering, the shouts of the injured, the French sirens, an all encompassing sound of rage that fills the boulevards. One can only imagine the terror of the residents looking out of their plush apartments at the mayhem and destruction below.
It is close to Christmas in Paris, and the trees have been decorated with lights on the Champs-Élysées, their juxtaposition of violence and protest leaves an uneasy duality. The decorations for Christmas, this time are burning barricades, exploding vehicles, and cowering policemen.
The water cannons move in further, and the protesters are forced away from one particular zone, as other protesters erupt from a different zone. It all seems futile for the outnumbered police, as they simply move from one place to another not achieving anything at all.
These riots, they say, will go on and on, until the government capitulates its position and reduces tax on fuel. The revenue lost from tourism must be enormous, as well as the shops and restaurants which have been forced to close. Louis Vuitton, Bally, and all the others, now bathed in fire and smoke, their luxurious brands, engulfed by revolution and violence.
How long can Emmanuel Macron hold out? The Gilets Jaunes, seem unstoppable in their vitriol and are dedicated in their outrage.