Paris attractions set to close as protests loom
PARIS: Authorities in France are bracing for more riots and violence this weekend, and are holding emergency meetings and deploying tens of thousands of police and security forces in readiness.
Museums, theatres and shops in Paris announced they would close today as a precaution – including the city’s landmark Eiffel Tower.
Police unions and city authorities met to formulate strategies on how to handle today’s protests, which are going ahead even though French President Emmanuel Macron has cancelled the fuel tax hike that unleashed the unrest.
On the other side of France’s volatile social debate, disparate groups of protesters did the same thing, sharing their weekend plans on social networks and chat groups.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the Government would deploy 89,000 police officers across France (8000 in Paris alone) – up from 65,000 last weekend.
They will be equipped with a dozen armoured vehicles, a first in a French urban area since 2005. Some “yellow vest” protesters, French union officials and prominent politicians across the political spectrum, called for calm yesterday after the worst rioting in Paris in decades last weekend.