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Fuel protests: Where are Saturday's planned road blocks in south west France?

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Fuel protests: Where are Saturday's planned road blocks in south west France?
Photo: AFP
10:09 CET+01:00
Protesters calling themselves the 'gilets jaunes' (yellow vests) are due to take to the roads in France on Saturday November 17th to protest rising petrol and diesel prices. Here's what you need to know about the planned protests in the south west.
The motorists protest group aims to demonstrate its anger over the increasing cost of filling up with fuel by blockading roads, bringing traffic all over the country to a standstill.
 
The protests have also come to symbolise apparent divisions between France's governing elite in Paris, namely President Macron, and the country's rural poor who will be hit hardest by increased prices as they rely heavily on cars to get around. 
 
Rather than having a central organising body, the gilets jaunes are often individuals using social media to form informal protest groups. As such, the exact locations, times and scale of the blockades are hard to pin down. 
 
They are, however, expected to cause widespread travel problems all over the country. Here is a map with more details.
 
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Taking a look at the south west of France, many blockades are expected in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. 
 
In Dordogne the prefecture is warning motorists to stay off the roads unless it is absolutely necessary. Authorities in the department are also warning protesters that police will be out in force to keep roads open for emergency vehicles.
 
It called on demonstrators to show "a spirit of responsibility and caution in the actions taken and to avoid any incident."
 
Here's an overview of what to expect in south west France on Saturday.
 
Charente-Maritime
 
On the south west coast in the department of Charente-Maritime, no protests have been declared to local officials however blockades are expected from 7 am onwards in La Rochelle, Royan, Rochefort, Oléron and Marennes, among other locations.
 
Charente
 
Protests are planned in the towns of Barbezieux, Angoulême, Cognac, Ruffec et Confolens in the Charente department, although groups have agreed on merely slowing the traffic in these areas using filter blockades, rather than bringing it to a halt.
 
Gironde
 
More than 20 roadblocks are expected in the Gironde department, although only two have been declared to local officials.
 
Areas expected to be affected include Langon, Libourne, Coutras, Gujan-Mestras, Biganos, Audenge, Berson and the D1215 road among others.
 
As well as roadblocks, a pedestrian protest is expected in Bordeaux's Place de la Republique.
 
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Dordogne
 
Support for the yellow vests is strong in the department of the Dordogne, with some estimates quoted in the French press showing that one in ten motorists support the protests.
 
Over 30 blockades are planned in locations throughout the department including Bergerac, Périgueux, Ribérac and Eymet among others.
 
Many big supermarkets and hypermarkets may also be closed on the day as blockades are being planned near them so as to reduce the impact of traffic disruption on smaller independent shops. 
 
Lot-et-Garonne
 
Blockades are expected in Agen, Marmande, Villeneuve, Tonneins and Fumel, all of which are in the Lot-et-Garonne department, where it's thought that protesters could block access to petrol stations in shopping areas and demand free passage for motorists at motorway toll booths.
 
Protests in Lot-et-Garonne may continue until November 21st.
 
Landes
 
In the Landes department, blockades are expected in Mont-de-Marsan and Dax. 
 
Protesters and also expected to stage go-slow operations along the A63 and A65 roads with filter roadblocks at toll booths.
 
Pau
 
The city of Pau has seen numerous protests by motorists already this year, and November 17th looks to be no different. Blockades are expected from 7 am onwards.
 
Fuel protests in France: MAP reveals locations of planned road blocks
 
Pays Basque 
 
In the French Basque Country, blockades are expected in Biarritz near the Halle d'Iraty, where the agricultural expo Le Salon Paysan Lurrama is taking place. 
 
A go-slow operation will also depart from the town in the morning.
 
Five French words you need to know:
 
un rassemblement – a rally, a gathering
 
un blocage – a blockade
 
un barrage filtrant – a filter roadblock
 
une opération escargot – a go-slow operation
 
un péage – a toll booth
 
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