"Yellow vest" protesters have announced demonstrations across France scheduled for Saturday, April 27, with the largest rallies expected in Paris.
Two marches are planned in the capital, with one group slated to gather at Montparnasse at 13:00 and another at the Maison de la Radio at 13:00. Protesters rallying at Montparnasse will reportedly march to Place d'Italie, while those gathering at the Maison de la Radio will proceed to the headquarters of the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA) via the headquarters of TF1/LCI, France Télévisions, and BFM TV.
Subsequent rallies are expected in various locations across the capital including at Place Léon Blum at 11:00 and at Place de la Bastille at 11:00 and at 22:00. Unconfirmed reports suggest that protesters might gather in the vicinity of the Champs-Elysées around 10:00.
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 may 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:
- Strasbourg : Place de l'Etoile at 13 :00
- Bordeaux: Place de la Bourse at 13:00
- Rennes : undisclosed location at 13:00
- Lille: Place de la République at 13:30
- Toulouse: Allées Jean Jaurès at 14:00
- Lyon: Charpennes - Charles Hernu 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. Anticipated turnout for the April 27 protests remains unclear; President Emmanuel Macron announced a series of reforms on April 25, including closing corporate tax loopholes, income tax cuts, linking pensions to inflation by 2020, and reforms to referendum processes, among others.
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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