Heightened security measures are expected to be implemented around "yellow vest" protests in France in the coming weeks following violence and vandalism witnessed in a related protest in Paris on Saturday, March 16. Some 10,000 protesters were estimated to have participated in the Paris demonstration, including some 1500 rioters who sought to create unrest, according to law enforcement and government officials. Protesters reportedly clashed with riot police and broke storefront windows on Avenue des Champs-Élysées on Saturday. President Emmanuel Macron urged ministers on Saturday night (local time) to take action so that such rioting "doesn't happen again"; Prime Minister Édouard Philippe was scheduled to attend a ministerial meeting aimed at bolstering security measures in response to the protests on Sunday, March 17, as workers began cleaning up debris left over from the rioting on Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
Similar "yellow vest" demonstrations are expected to take place in Paris and other major urban centers in France amid heightened security measures over the coming weeks. Localized transportation and business disruptions are likely near protest sites, and clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
The "yellow vest" movement began on November 17, 2018, to protest rising fuel prices and a planned fuel tax. It 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, although the scale of the protests has generally diminished since their height in December.
Demonstrations have continued despite French government proposals to address protesters' concerns.
Individuals in France are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, budget extra time to reach their destinations if traveling through areas affected by demonstrations, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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