The leaders of the "yellow vest" movement are calling for a total shutdown of Réunion on Wednesday, November 28, during the visit of Oversea Minister Annick Girardin. As of the evening (local time) of Tuesday, November 27, over 20 roadblocks remain in place, leading to significant traffic disruptions. Protest leaders are calling for up to 300 roadblocks to be erected throughout the island and are asking residents to either join the movement or stay in their homes. Associated protests and disruptions are likely in the coming days and violence cannot be ruled out. Continued unrest is likely over the coming days despite an announcement made last week that a proposed fuel tax increase, which sparked the movement, would be postponed. Additional security forces remain deployed to the island.
Schools and universities remain closed, public transportation services are disrupted, and other public services (e.g. administrative services, waste collection, etc.) interrupted. Passenger services and flight operations at Roland Garros International Airport (RUN) will again be suspended from 16:00 on Tuesday until 06:15 on Wednesday (local time). Furthermore, shortages continue to be reported at gas stations and food shops and the sale of alcohol has been prohibited in the Sainte-Marie district from noon (local time) on November 26 until noon on November 30.
Demonstrations denouncing rising fuel prices and a planned fuel tax began on November 17 throughout France, with demonstrators in Réunion setting up roadblocks, setting fire to buildings, and ransacking shops. The government had planned a tax increase on fuel prices, including gasoline and diesel, beginning on January 1, 2019, to promote environmentally friendly practices.
Individuals in Réunion are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities, allow for extra time to reach their destinations, and avoid all protests.
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