Clashes were reported in Dijon, Montpellier, and Seine-Saint-Denis department amid the 30th weekend of "yellow vest" protests on Saturday, June 8. Some 10,300 people participated in the demonstrations across the country, including some 1300 in Paris and between 2000-5000 in protests in Montpellier.
Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters near Place de la Comédie in Montpellier, as well as in Dijon, where demonstrators reportedly threw projectiles at police, leading to 13 arrests. At least ten people - including police and protesters - were wounded in the clashes in both cities. Clashes were also reported amid protests in Drancy and Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis department), where 4000 people demonstrated.
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. 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.
According to the Ministry of Interior, some 9,500 people marched nationwide on June 1.
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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