The U.S. State Department is encouraging American citizens in Paris to avoid areas where "yellow vest" protestors are expected to demonstrate on Saturday.
The department issued a demonstration alert that said protestors are expected throughout Paris and France, with the announced march route from Place de la Bastille to the Arc de Triomphe. Gathering points include spots in the first, fourth, eighth, 16th and 17th arrondissements, the department said.
"The groups are protesting fuel prices, taxes and other government policies," said the State Department, which added that demonstrations could continue in coming weeks. "Demonstrations may become violent, resulting in damage to property, including overturning vehicles and setting them on fire. Police responses may include water cannons and/or tear gas."
Demonstrations last weekend resulted in torched cars, looting and more in popular tourist areas. Several tourist hotspots, including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, will be closed during this weekend's protests.
The State Department recommends U.S. citizens adhere to the following guidelines:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Keep a low profile and avoid crowds
- Avoid as much as possible the areas of the demonstrations
- Shelter in place if in the areas affected
- Close windows and shutters to avoid possible smoke and tear gas
- Move your vehicle away from areas where demonstrations are expected
- Consider relocating in advance to another area
- Maintain easy access to passports and other documents, prescription medicine, infant formula, and chargers for electronics
- Monitor local media for updates
- Notify friends and family of your safety