"Yellow vest" protesters have announced demonstrations across France scheduled for Saturday, April 6, with the largest rallies expected in Paris. Two rallies and associated marches are planned in the capital beginning at 12:00 (local time), with one group of participants slated to gather at Place de la République and another at Place du 18 Juin 1940 (near Gare Montparnasse). From Place de la République, marchers will depart at 13:00 and proceed to the Grande Arche de la Défense via Place Stalingrad, Barbès, Villiers, Place du Maréchal Juin, Porte de Champerret, Avenue de la Porte de Champerret, Pont de Courbevoie, Rue Baudin, Avenue Gambetta, and Esplanade de la Défense. From Place du 18 Juin 1940, marchers will depart at 13:00 and proceed to the Bassin de la Villette via Boulevard Montparnasse, Port Royal, Boulevard Saint-Marcel, Pont d'Austerlitz, Bastille, Boulevard Richard Lenoir, Quai de Jemmapes, Rue de la Grange aux Belles, Place du Colonel Fabien, and Place Stalingrad.
Security forces in the capital are expected to cordon off the areas surrounding the Champs-Elysées, the Elysée Palace, and the National Assembly during the protests to prevent acts of violence and vandalism. Multiple Paris metro stations will also be closed and bus routes disrupted beginning at 08:00 on Saturday due to the protests; updated information on closures is available here.
Associated demonstrations are also planned in other French cities on Saturday, including:
- Lille: Place de la République at 12:30
- Bordeaux: Place de la Bourse at 13:00
- Toulouse: Allée Jean Jaurès at 14:00
- Lyon: Place de la République at 14:00
Additional "yellow vest" protests are to be expected across France over the coming weeks, particularly on Saturdays. A heightened security presence is anticipated near related demonstrations. 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 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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