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03 Jan 2020 | 04:58 AM UTC

France: “Yellow Vest” protest scheduled in Paris January 4 /update 36

“Yellow Vest” activists plan to march along pension reform protesters in Paris January 4; heightened security and transportation disruptions expected

security
transportation
FRA

Event

"Yellow Vest" activists have called for a march in Paris on Saturday, January 4. Participants plan to gather at 11:00 (local time) at the Reuilly Diderot metro station before marching to Gare de Lyon via Boulevard de Diderot, where activists will join another protest to denounce the government's pension reform proposal. The latter is expected to start at 13:00. A blockade is also set to take place in the Paris region at the Grandpuits Total refinery from 13:00 to 18:00. Additional protests are possible in other urban centers across France.

Associated business and transportation disruptions, and a heightened security presence are to be anticipated near all demonstration sites.

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 also protested across France in December 2019 to voice their opposition to the planned pension reform scheme. Subsequent related ongoing 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 to the situation, anticipate transportation disruptions, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.