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Yellow vest anniversary protests: The parts of Paris you might want to avoid on Saturday

Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the 'yellow vest' protest movement and there will be demonstrations across France, but particularly in Paris. Here's where the protests are set to take place.

Yellow vest anniversary protests: The parts of Paris you might want to avoid on Saturday
Photo: AFP

The 'yellow vest' leaders hope that the one-year anniversary of the protest will revitalise a movement that has been struggling to attract supporters in recent weeks.

How much disruption they can cause of course depends on how many people turn up, which is difficult to predict.

READ ALSO ANALYSIS: Will Macron really 'tremble' at yellow vest anniversary? I doubt it

But if you're in Paris and want to avoid protests, which often create transport disruption, these are the areas where we know that things will be happening.

Place Franz Liszt -Bastille – Place d'Italie

This march is an officially declared route that has been approved by the police. The marchers will meet at Place Franz Liszt at 10am in the 10th arrondissement and march south to Place d'Italie, expecting to arrive at about 2pm.

Porte de Champerret – République – Austerlitz

Another officially declared march meets at 8.30am at the Porte Champerret on the outskirts of the city. Marchers will set off at 11am and skirt around the northern and western parts of Paris before arriving in Austerliz in the 13th arrondissement.

Large sections of the city are off limits to all demonstrations and these include the areas around some of the major tourist sites such as Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Arc de Triomphe

The two marches above are officially authorised, but there were other protests planned that did not get permission from the police. 

One of these was on the Champs-Elysées, which has been off limits to protesters since some of them smashed up shops and torched restaurants in March. Instead, organisers say they will hold an Operation Escargot – a rolling roadblock – at the Arc de Triomphe roundabout at the top of the Champs-Elysées.


Another unauthorised one, so it may not happen, but 'yellow vest' leader Eric Drouet has called for a blockade of the Paris ringroad starting from 10am.


Not all shops of course, but one group has called for a peaceful occupation of certain 'temples of consumption' Among the shops named in Facebook groups are the Ikea store in Madeleine, Carrefour at Porte d'Auteuil, Nike at Forum des Halles, H&M  at Rue La Fayette, an Apple store and a Total whose locations have not been revealed.

The Metro

Usually when there are protests going on, certain Metro stations are closed. The lines usually keep running, but the trains go straight through the closed stations.

The RATP transport chiefs says that, by order of Paris police, some 23 Metro and RER stations will be closed from 7am on Saturday.

Trains will not stop at the stations and passengers won't be able to change onto different lines.

Line 1 is particularly hit with the following stations closed: Tuileries, Argentine, Georges V, Champs-Élysées-Clémenceau, Charles de Gaulle-Étoile, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Concorde.

Line 2 will be closed between Porte Dauphine and Courcelles and Line 6 between Trocadéro et Charles de Gaulle-Étoile. The station Charles de Gaulle-Étoile will be closed on both of these lines.

Services on Line 13 wont be stopping at Champs-Élysées-Clémenceau, Invalides, Miromesnil and Varenne.

Line 9 services wont be stopping at Franklin D. Roosevelt, Havre-Caumartin, Saint-Augustin, Saint-Philippe du Roule, Iéna, Alma-Marceau and Miromesnil.

The stations Concorde, Opéra et Invalides will also be closed on line 8.

RER A services will not stop at the stations Auber and Charles de Gaulle Etoile and RER C trains will not be stopping at Pont d'Alma, Invalides, Tour Eiffel and Champs de Mars.

You can click here to get up to date information on station closures






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What happened to the rioters who trashed the Arc de Triomphe during yellow vest violence?

A court in France has finally handed out sentences to some of those involved in the vandalism and theft at the Arc de Triomphe in December 2018 - when 'yellow vest' violence in Paris shocked the world.

What happened to the rioters who trashed the Arc de Triomphe during yellow vest violence?
'Yellow vest' protesters clash with police by the Arc de Triomphe on December 1st 2018 in Paris. Photo: Abdulmonam EASSA / AFP

The French court on Thursday sentenced eight people to suspended jail terms and community service for taking part in one of the most violent episodes of the anti-government ‘yellow vest’ protests that rocked France two years ago.

A total of nine stood trial this week for the incident, but one of them, a former soldier, was cleared for lack of evidence, presiding judge Sonia Lumbroso said at the verdict.

The court ruled the suspects were neither the instigators nor the main culprits of the vandalism and looting around the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris, when scenes of destruction and fierce clashes with police made global headlines.

Most of them had no criminal records.

They were sentenced to 70 hours of community service for entering the monument, but those also found guilty of stealing items such as postcards, Arc de Triomphe models or miniature Eiffel Towers from the gift shop, were fined €100 for theft.

A ‘yellow vest’ protester arrives at the courthouse in Paris to attend the trial of ten people on charge of destruction and theft around the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris. Photo: Thomas COEX / AFP

One of the group, a man who was caught on camera trying to break down a door with a fire extinguisher, was handed the most severe sentence, a suspended prison term of eight months.

Dozens of cars were set on fire and businesses trashed all along the celebrated Champs-Elysées avenue on December 1st, 2018, the third Saturday of mass demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron.

READ ALSO: Macron risks losing support from left against Le Pen in French presidential election

He was accused of ignoring the plight of struggling French families and after months of protests he abandoned a planned fuel tax hike and raised spending on the lowest earners.

The protesters had already skirmished with security forces at earlier rallies, but police were unprepared for the rioting that engulfed the capital just a few weeks before Christmas.

Despite firing volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets, the officers were forced to abandon their positions around the Arc de Triomphe, which honours France’s war dead.

Protesters snuffed out the eternal flame over the tomb of an unknown World War I soldier and spray-painted the stone walls with graffiti including “the yellow vests will triumph”.

Others forced their way inside the arch, ransacking the gift shop and damaging scores of artworks, causing damage that cost €1.2 million to repair.

READ ALSO: Is France’s ‘yellow vest’ movement really on its way back?