"Yellow vest" protests continued across France on Saturday, December 29, though they were markedly smaller than in weeks past with approximately 12,000 people participating in demonstrations in various cities. Some clashes with security forces were reported in Marseille, Bordeaux, Rouen, and Nantes, with protesters throwing stones at police, who used tear gas to disperse some of the crowds. The movement is expected to continue their protests in the coming days, with an event scheduled in Paris on Monday, December 31, at 15:00 (local time) on Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Additional protests are likely on upcoming weekends. Localized transportation and business disruptions are likely in the event of "yellow vest" demonstrations along with a heightened security presence. Clashes with security personnel and arrests are possible.
The "yellow vest" movement began on November 17 to protest rising fuel prices and a planned fuel tax, and 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. 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. Although the government announced the withdrawal of the carbon tax project from the 2019 budget on December 5, protests have continued.
Individuals located in France 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 destinations.
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