France, Belgium and Holland are all preparing for new protests by the movements of the ‘gilets jaunes’ (yellow vests) today, both in their respective capitals and other major cities. In Paris the measures being taken to prevent further violence are nothing short of extreme as army vehicles can be seen near the Arc De Triomphe already (pictured).
In several cities, the 'Gele Hesjes', the Dutch version of the French protest movement Les Gilets Jaunes, will be protesting on Saturday.
Concerned citizens have announced that they will take to the streets in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Maastricht, Groningen and The Hague, among others.
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The yellow vest movement has not resulted in any grand scale rioting like it did in Belgium or France so far. Also today, most Dutch people expect the movement to simply consist of people walking in group around the capital Amsterdam (and other cities) voicing their discontent.
Belgium has seen widespread rioting and fights with police officers. Just last week, 2 police vehicles were burned and protesters threw rocks and building material to police forces as they tried to get near the offices of the European Commission.
Police is in the capital Brussels with a large force and several shops have closed in anticipation of possible new violence.
France, and certainly Paris, braces itself for new protests. Around 8,000 security forces are deployed in Paris and tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre remain closed.
The French capital changed into a battlefield again last Saturday when protesters clashed with the police. Demonstrators also set vehicles on fire and plundered stores. Even the famous Arc de Triomphe had to pay for it.
The government has announced that it will use 89,000 troops nationwide this time to suppress possible riots.
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The 'gilets jaunes' (yellow vests) have been protesting for weeks against the policy of the French government that would undermine their purchasing power. The immediate cause was a tax increase on petrol and diesel. This measure had to lead to a cleaner environment.
The government of President Emmanuel Macron has since clawed back, but the protesters have now said they will continue until the politicians announce their ‘démission,’ aka that they admit the need for urgent and new elections.
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