"Yellow vest" protesters have announced demonstrations across France scheduled for Saturday, May 4, with the largest rallies expected in Paris.
In Paris, protesters are expected to gather at Lariboisière hospital at 11:30 (local time) and march to Place de la Nation from 13:00 via Hôpital St. Louis, Hôpital Tenon, and Hôpital St. Antoine. Protests are also expected at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) with participants slated to gather at the rail station in Terminal 2 at 11:00. Unconfirmed reports suggest that protesters may also demonstrate at Orly Airport (ORY) on Saturday.
Additional rallies are expected in various locations across the capital including at Place Léon Blum at 11:00, at Place de la République at 14:00, and at Place des Fêtes at 19:00. Related gatherings are planned in the greater Paris area, including in Montreuil, Pantin, and Vitry.
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:
- Toulouse: Allées Jean Jaurès at 14:00
- Bordeaux: Place de la Bourse at 14:00
- Lyon: Place Jean Macé at 14:00 - Environmental action protests are also planned at this location on Saturday
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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