"I'm here for my son", said the 30-year-old, who had travelled down to Paris from the Normandy port of Caen. "I'm not so bad off because I have a good salary, I have enough to live".
In their explanations of why they'd turned out to protest - some traveling five hours or more by bus from far corners of the country - most protesters talked about taxes, the cost of living and their dislike of Macron, whose name was a constant refrain: "Macron, where are you?" called some from a makeshift platform not far from the Arc de Triomphe.
Groups in yellow vests also gathered near the Bastille plaza and a few other spots around Paris.
One of them, Eric Drouet, a truck driver, called on protesters to storm into the Elysee presidential palace. Some threw paving stones, fireworks, flares and other objects at police, according to AP news agency.
Shops, museums, the Eiffel Tower and many metro stations were closed as much of the city-centre went on effective lockdown.
In France on Saturday, crowds of yellow-vested protesters angry at French President Emmanuel Macron and the country's high taxes tried to converge on the presidential palace, some scuffling with police firing tear gas.
Interior Minister Christopher Castaner said that he expects radical elements to be present in Paris and that "the past three weeks have given birth to a monster that has escaped its creators".
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Friday evening met a delegation of self-described "moderate" yellow vests who have urged people not to join the protests. After the meeting a spokesman from the movement, Christophe Chalencon, said Philippe had "listened to us and promised to take our demands to the president".
"We can not take the risk when we know the threat", Culture Minister Franck Riester told RTL radio, according to Reuters.
Authorities are deploying barricade-busting armored vehicles and 8,000 police in the capital alone, part of 89,000 security forces fanned out around France. Those included the world-renowned Champs-Elysees Avenue, which would normally be packed with tourists and shoppers on a Saturday in early December. Some could be held in the city center on what is a major Christmas shopping weekend.
"We need to protect culture sites in Paris but also everywhere in France", Culture Minister Franck Riester told RTL radio.
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In a warning of impending violence, an MP for Macron's party, Benoit Potterie, received a bullet in the mail on Friday with the words: "Next time it will be between your eyes".
Paris area janitor Jonathan Gonzales wore "Resistance Macron" scrawled on his yellow vest - referring to French President Emmanuel Macron, whose popularity has plunged to record lows.
But the yellow vests, some of whom who have become increasingly radicalised, are holding out for more. Chanting "We Want Trump!"
Arguing that such a move was necessary in order to boost investment and create jobs, the former investment banker has so far ruled out reimposing the "fortune tax".
During the week, Macron abandoned the tax rise in a bid to appease the protesters.
The climbdown on higher fuel taxes - which were meant to help France transition to a greener economy - marked a major departure for the centrist president.
Kirk did not cited evidence for their claims, but other Trump backers have shared a video online that they claim shows Paris protesters shouting support for Trump, but actually shows protesters in London demonstrating in support of far-right activist Tommy Robinson.
Four people have died in accidents during the protests and political leaders have appealed for calm.
Some stores along the city's elegant Champs-Elysees Avenue had boarded up their windows as though bracing for a hurricane, but the storm struck anyway, this time at the height of the holiday shopping season.
The "gilets jaunes" protesters, so-called because they have taken to the streets wearing the high-visibility yellow clothing that is required to be carried in every vehicle by French law, initially complained at a sharp increase in diesel taxes.