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04 Jan 2020 | 03:22 PM UTC

France: Police fire tear gas at demonstrators in Paris denouncing pension reforms January 4 /update 37

Police fire tear gas at demonstrators denouncing planned pension reforms in Paris January 4; similar demonstrations expected over the near term, including nationwide on January 9

security
transportation
FRA

Event

Police fired tear gas at demonstrators, including "Yellow Vest" protesters, denouncing planned pension reforms in Paris on Saturday, January 4, including at Gare du Nord, Gare de l'Est, and in the Bastille area as protesters marched through the capital. Protesters also reportedly set fire to trash receptacles in Paris.

Associated business and transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence are to be anticipated near all demonstration sites. Related, nationwide demonstrations are slated to be held in France on Thursday, January 9. Additional protests are to be expected in France over the near term.

Context

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 2018. Demonstrations have continued despite French government proposals to address protesters' concerns. President Emmanuel Macron announced a series of reforms on April 25, including closing corporate tax loopholes, income tax cuts, linking pensions to inflation by 2020, and reforms to referendum processes, among others.

Thousands have protested across France since December 2019 to voice their opposition to the planned pension reform scheme. Related, nationwide strikes have caused significant disruptions across all forms of transportation. Strikes may continue for an indefinite period if the government does not abandon its proposed pension reform plan.

Advice

Individuals in Paris and across France are advised to avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, monitor developments, anticipate transportation and business disruptions near protest sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.