"Yellow vest" protesters organized demonstrations in London amid a heightened security presence on Saturday, January 5, to march in support of the country's departure from the EU. Around 100 people gathered in the Parliament Square/Whitehall area before midday (local time) where several protesters reportedly clashed with police; demonstrators set-off smoke bombs and blocked traffic prompting the arrests of at least four people. Similar protests are possible in the UK over the coming days and weeks. Further clashes between protesters and police as well as localized traffic disruptions cannot be ruled out near demonstration sites.
The protests are inspired by the "yellow vest" protests in France, which began on November 17 to denounce a fuel tax hike as well as to call for increased social protections and minimum wage hikes. Related protests have spread to other European and Arab nations in recent weeks, with demonstrators denouncing a broad range of perceived economic and political issues affecting their respective countries.
Individuals in the UK, particularly those in London, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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