France protests continue

This item appears on page 55 of the February 2019 issue.

The "yellow vest" protests in France continued into January. The protesters, who wear yellow reflective vests and who originally had gathered against a proposed increase in gasoline taxes, became more generally antigovernment after the gasoline tax was scrapped.

During the protests, multiple roads have been blocked, including many in Paris, where incidents of arson and looting were also reported. Due to the protests, the Eiffel Tower was closed the weekend of Dec. 8. There have been reports of multiple deaths caused by accidents due to roadblocks, and drivers in France are advised to be aware that roads may be impassable without notice.

On Dec. 18, a group of protesters set fire to toll booths at Bandol in southeastern France, forcing the closure of the A50 highway there. At least 20 people were arrested at the site of the fires. Protesters have also damaged or destroyed more than 500 speed cameras in the country.