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What to expect for Yellow Vests Act 20

A protester stands in front of burning barricade during a demonstration by the "yellow vests" movement in Paris, France, March 16, 2019.
A protester stands in front of burning barricade during a demonstration by the "yellow vests" movement in Paris, France, March 16, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
2 min

France is bracing for Act 20 of nationwide anti-government Yellow Vest protests on Saturday. Police are to be deployed in force amid fears of a repeat of violence, after the government banned demonstrations in many areas. 

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For a second week running, authorities have banned gilets jaunes demonstrations on Paris’s Champs-Elysées Avenue, as well as around the presidential palace and the National Assembly.

The mayor of Bordeaux has advised retailers to shutter their shops on Saturday, and is urging residents to remain indoors, while the southern town of Avignon is closing its railway station and has banned large gatherings.

Several French cities have seen repeated rioting and destruction of property during four months of protests that have drawn thousands.

Two weeks ago protestors ransacked luxury boutiques and the famous Le Fouquet’s restaurant on the Champs-Elysée, leading to huge divisions in France. In contrast, last Saturday’s demonstrations in Paris, which centred around Montmartre’s Sacre Coeur basilica, were largely peaceful.

The Yellow Vest movement looked to be losing steam earlier this year – with the focus shifting to a series of town-hall style “national debates” called by President Emmanuel Macron – but violence on 16 March showed anger is still strong.

The debates continued Friday, with Macron hosting mayors at the presidential palace, a day after discussing the unrest in the country with schoolchildren in the Loire Valley.

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