"Yellow vest" protesters have announced demonstrations across France scheduled for Saturday, April 20, with the largest rallies expected in Paris.
Two rallies and associated marches are planned in the capital region, with one group slated to gather at Bercy (Paris) from 10:30 and another at the Basilique de Saint-Denis (Saint-Denis) at 12:00. Protesters gathering at Bercy will reportedly march to Place de la République from 12:30, via Quai de la Rapée, Place de la Bastille, Ménilmontant, and Belleville. Those gathering at the Basilique de Saint-Denis will depart at 13:00 and proceed to Quai Saint Bernard, via Porte de Paris, Porte d'Aubervilliers, Place Stalingrad, Canal Saint-Martin, and Place de la Bastille. Although unconfirmed, a third march might take place from Porte Maillot to La Villette via Boulevard Pereire, Rue Guy Môquet, and Rue Championnet. A subsequent rally is also expected at Place de la République at 14:00.
Security forces in the capital are expected to cordon off the areas surrounding the Champs-Elysées, the Elysée Palace, the National Assembly, and Notre-Dame during the protests to prevent acts of violence and vandalism. Multiple Paris metro stations will also be closed and bus routes disrupted beginning at 08:00 on Saturday due to the protests; information on closures is available here.
Associated demonstrations are also planned in other French cities on Saturday, including:
- Bordeaux: Place des Quinconces at 13:00
- Lille: Place de la République at 13:30
- Toulouse: Capitole Metro station at 14:00
- Lyon: Rue Saint-Jean at 14:00
- Montpellier: Place de la Comédie 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 anticipated 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. It 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. Demonstrations have continued despite French government proposals to address protesters' concerns.
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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