Protests associated with the "yellow vest" movement are expected to continue in Paris on Saturday, December 8, amid a heightened security presence. The French government has deployed 89,000 police forces throughout the country to maintain order amid a perceived high risk of violence during the planned Saturday protests; in Paris, 8000 troops have been deployed to potential protest sites. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and all businesses on the Champs-Élysées will be closed during the protests. The government has also issued a ban on demonstrations in certain sensitive areas of Pas-de-Calais. In Montauban, local police forces have seized numerous Molotov cocktails, along with three homemade bombs from "yellow vest" demonstrators in recent days.
Significant transportation disruptions are to be expected nationwide near demonstration sites, along with business closures and the suspension of public services in some areas. Further protests are expected to take place over the coming days and notably on December 10 - when organizers have called on demonstrators to paralyze transportation and commercial and other public activities across the country. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
The "yellow vest" movement has been carrying out daily protests since November 17 against rising fuel prices and a planned fuel tax. Hundreds of thousands of participants have engaged in slow-rolling protests to block roads and highways, causing significant traffic disruptions. Four people have been killed and over a thousand injured in traffic incidents or protests. 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.
On December 5, the government announced the withdrawal of the carbon tax project from the 2019 budget.
Individuals located in France, particularly those in Paris, are advised to follow all instructions issued by local authorities, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, and allow for extra time to reach their destination.
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