A heightened security presence is to be anticipated in urban centers throughout France ahead of "yellow vest" protests scheduled for Saturday, December 15. An additional 8000 police and gendarmerie officers have been deployed in Paris. According to local sources, security perimeters will be put in place around the Elysée, the Ministry of Interior, the National Assembly, and Matignon. Nevertheless, "yellow vest" demonstrators are expected to stage protests around the Champs-Elysées, Porte d'Orléans, Bastille, Saint-Lazare train station, the City Hall, and the Elysée.
City officials have announced the early closure or full closure of multiple museums; in addition, high schools throughout the capital will remain closed on Saturday. Transportation restrictions have also been implemented in Paris around the Champs-Elysées, Place de la Concorde, and the Jardins des Tuileries. The RATP, Paris's public transportation operator, announced that multiple metro stations would remain closed on Saturday. A full list of affected stations can be found on the RATP's website.
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. Associated clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
The "yellow vest" movement began on November 17 to protest rising fuel prices and a planned fuel tax. On December 8, thousands of people participated in marches in Paris and across France. Clashes between protesters and security forces, as well as acts of vandalism and looting, were reported in urban centers throughout the country. Police arrested 1939 people throughout the country, including 1082 in Paris, and used tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.
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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