"Yellow vest" protesters have announced demonstrations across France scheduled from Friday, March 8, to Sunday, March 10.
Rallies are expected at various locations throughout the capital Paris, with the main rally, organized as a sit-in protest, expected to take place on the Champ-de-Mars from 18:30 (local time) on Friday, March 8, through Sunday evening, March 10.
Additional demonstrations are planned on Saturday, March 9, at Place du Maréchal Juin at 10:00 (local time), at the Arc de Triomphe at 10:30, on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées at 11:00, in the Terminal 1 of Roissy Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport at 12:00 and at Place de la République at 14:00. Moreover, demonstrators are also expected to march on Saturday from the Arc de Triomphe to Place Edmond Rostand beginning at 11:00 via the Champs-Elysées, Place de la Madeleine, Rue Saint Honoré, Place du Palais Royal, Place du Carrousel du Louvre, Pont du Carrousel, Place Saint Michel, and Boulevard Saint Michel.
Associated demonstrations are also planned in other French cities on Saturday, including in Lille at Place de la République at 12:30; in Bordeaux at Place de la Bourse at 13:00; in Lyon at Place Bellecour at 14:00 and in Toulouse at Allée Jean Jaurès at 14:00. 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 near protest sites, 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 and a EUR 10 billion (USD 11.4 billion) support package for low-income workers and pensioners, protests have continued. Demonstrators have also largely rejected a series of nationwide town hall debates with local representatives proposed by President Emmanuel Macron and aimed at addressing policy issues of public concern, including taxation and the provision of public services. The protesters assert that such debates represent a government attempt to slow the momentum of the protest movement by venting public frustration into the talks, thereby easing pressure on the government to institute substantive policy changes.
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.
Copyright and Disclaimer