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France

Paris braces for Act 27 of Yellow Vest protests

French police apprehend protesters during the traditional May Day labour union march with French unions and yellow vests protesters in Paris, France, May 1, 2019.
French police apprehend protesters during the traditional May Day labour union march with French unions and yellow vests protesters in Paris, France, May 1, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Yellow Vest demonstrations are planned for Saturday starting at several gathering points in Paris. At least ten underground and suburban rail stations have been closed since 7am, but protestor numbers seem to be declining.

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Enthusiasm for the Yellow Vest movement seems to be cooling after a historic low, last week, of some 18,600 people participating (figure by the Ministry of the Interior).

In order to lure more participants, organisers have tried to knot several events together.

In Pantin, in the northeast of Paris, Yellow Vest organisers called on teachers and parents to join the march and at the Place de la République, a massive protest demonstration against producer of genetically modified food Monsanto is planned, coinciding with a gathering by the Yellow Vests’ “National Council of Resistance” that is organising a poll where participants can participate in “the first vote/opinion poll” on the movement.

The event of the day will be a march starting at 13:00 at La Défence that will eventually end at the Sacré Coeur.

This specific march was organised by Inda Inda, Nejeh Ben Farhat and Jean Christian Valentin. In a message on Demosphere, an online agenda for all protest gatherings, organisers specifically call upon women to participate, saying that they are “always present, but always in the background,” that they are “equivalent to determination,” and “always mobilised in spite of increasing repression” against them.

The Paris police announced that all Yellow Vest gatherings will be forbidden on the Champs Elysées with a circle that also covers the Presidential palace and the buildings of the General Assembly, as well as a sector surrounding the Notre Dame de Paris during the whole day.

Meanwhile, demonstrators are not allowed to use objects meant to “completely or partly” cover their face in “order to be unrecognisable” and impromptu police inspections of bags at sites where demonstrations are allowed are possible.

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