Thousands of people participated in marches in Paris and across France on Saturday, December 8, as protests associated with the "yellow vest" movement continue. An estimated 8000 people marched at different locations in the capital and more than 31,000 others took part in protests nationwide. In Paris, demonstrators marched down Av. des Champs-Élysées around midday. Violent protests erupted later in different areas of the city, mostly focused in the 3rd, 16th, and 17th arrondissements. Police arrested 551 people and used tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets to disperse crowds. At least 110 vehicles were burned and many shops near the Eiffel Tower and Louvre were looted or closed. A total of 55 people were injured, including three police officers. More violence is expected Saturday evening (local time) amid continuing protests.
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. Associated 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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