"Yellow vest" protesters have announced demonstrations across France scheduled for Saturday, February 16, and Sunday, February 17. Rallies are expected at various locations throughout Paris, including at Place du Maréchal Juin and the Château Rouge metro station at 10:00 (local time), on the Champs-Élysées at 10:30 on Saturday, and at Place de la République at 14:00 on Saturday and Sunday. Moreover, a march is expected to start at 11:00 on Sunday at the Arc de Triomphe, continue across the Pont des Invalides to the Assemblée Nationale, through Boulevard Saint-Germain, Rue de Bellechasse, Rue de Grenelle, the MEDEF Union headquarters, and end at the Champs de Mars.
Associated demonstrations are also planned on Saturday in various cities, including: Montpellier at Place de la Comédie at 8:00; Strasbourg at Place de la République at 10:00; Bordeaux at Place de la Bourse at 13:00; Toulouse at 14:00 at Allée Jean Jaurès; in Lyon at Place Bellecour at 14:00; and in Lille at 14:30 at Place de la République followed by a march through the city.
Additional "yellow vest" protests are to be expected across France over the coming weeks, particularly on Saturdays. A heightened security presence is to be expected near related demonstrations. Localized transportation and business disruptions are likely in the vicinity of protests, and clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
The "yellow vest" movement began on November 17, 2018, to protest rising fuel prices and a planned fuel tax and has since grown to encompass a number of popular grievances against the French government; some protests have turned violent and acts of vandalism and looting have been reported, although the scale of the protests has diminished since their height in December. Some 1700 demonstrators and 1000 police officers have been wounded in clashes since the protests began.
The government had previously announced a tax increase on fuel prices, including gasoline and diesel, beginning on January 1, 2019, to promote environmentally friendly practices. Although the government announced the withdrawal of the carbon tax project from the 2019 budget on December 5, protests have continued.
Individuals in France are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, budget extra time to reach their destinations if traveling through areas affected by demonstrations, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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