Town at the centre of France braces for 'yellow vest' invasion

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Town at the centre of France braces for 'yellow vest' invasion

Paris and Bourges, the town at the centre of France, have both been identified as locations for Act 9 of the 'yellow vest' protests set to take place this Saturday as another weekend of demonstrations looms in France.


It's nearly the weekend which means another day of protests for the gilets jaunes, with two locations pinpointed for this Saturday's events, dubbed ACT 9 of the movement.
Both the French capital and the capital of the Cher department at the centre of France, Bourges have been mooted as meeting points for the weekend's demonstrations. 
And while Paris has some experience, to say the least, of the 'yellow vest' protests, the local authorities in Bourges are nervous about what Saturday may bring. 
Bourges. Photo: Google maps
It was prominent 'yellow vest' Priscillia Ludosky who called on gilets jaunes to make Bourges the epicentre of the mobilisation. 
Ludosky explained that the city in the centre of France was "a little less known to the police" which would lower the chances of the protesters being circled by the police force. 
The city has been chosen "to confirm our unity and to allow everyone to be at equal distance leaving the big cities", according to the Facebook group for the event. 
At the moment, the gilets jaunes are set to meet at Bourge's Place Seraucourt before marching around the city. 
On Thursday no request for permission to protest had been filed, according to the prefecture but by Friday morning 2,700 people said they were planning to go and 13,000 people said they were interested.
The head of the local authority in Bourges Catherine Ferrier told BFM TV on Friday morning that she had banned protests in the historic centre of the city, which is where the gilets jaunes have said they want to meet. 
The Mayor of Bourges Pascal Blanc is also worried about the unpredictability of the protests. 
"It's the unknown as to the number of protesters and how it will happen. Will it be peaceful? Or will there be violence?"
In the meantime, the city is busy preparing, dismantling parking metres, removing construction equipment and preparing to close its museums.
Shop owners in the city are also feeling nervous, partly due to the fact that Saturday marks the first weekend of sales and the protests could mean big losses. 
Bourges. Photo: Shadowgate/Flickr
At the moment it is hard to predict whether the protest will replace the ones that usually take place in Paris. 
On Monday, Patrick Vautier, who works for the local authorities said he expected "several hundred or even thousands" of people to show up in Bourges next Saturday.
Bourges is a historical city and home to the Gothic Cathedral of Saint Etienne which ranks as a World Heritage Site. It is also where Charles VII sought refuge in the 1420s during the Hundred Years' War before he became king of France.
One of the controversial leaders of the gilets jaunes however has called on members of the group to meet in the business district of Paris, La Défense.
So far, around 3,100 people have said they plan on attending and 16,000 have said they are interested and the district has been busy preparing, like Bourges, removing items from the streets that could be used as weapon should the protest turn violent. 
Th police won't be taking any chances with 80,000 police and gendarmes on duty on Saturday, with 5,000 in Paris, marking a return to the level of security seen during the mid-December protests.


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Anonymous 2019/01/12 07:56
One of the easiest and cheapest ways of stopping the activities of these morons is to block access to Facebook and Twitter. China does it all the time so why not France.

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