Tens of thousands of people marched in various cities throughout France in the tenth consecutive week of "Yellow Vest" protests on Saturday, January 19. Protests were largely peaceful, though some clashes were reported in Paris during the afternoon (local time) on Saturday, resulting in the arrests of 12 people and the use of water cannons by police to disperse the crowd. Approximately 700 people marched in Paris and events were also held in Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon, St. Etienne, Roanne, Valence, Clermont-Ferrand, Montelimar, Dijon, Nevers, Montceau-les-Mines, and Avignon. Protests are expected in several French cities next Saturday, January 26. Approximately 80,000 security personnel are likely to be deployed around the country, particularly in Paris, Toulouse, and Bordeaux.
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 in France are advised to follow all instructions issued by local authorities, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, allow for extra time to reach their destinations, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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