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Versailles closed before a new protest weekend in France

The yellow vests protest has been going on for the sixth consecutive weekend across France. Although the number of protesters has fallen, the authorities do not want to take any chances.

On Friday, the protesters shared on whether to conduct Saturday’s protest action in Paris or the nearby town of Versailles, the home of King Louis XVI, who was beheaded by the revolutionary guillotine in 1792.

For fear of possible unrest, local authorities have decided to close the Palace in Versailles and its gardens during Saturday’s protests. At the same time, shops in Paris have been told to exercise caution.

The last couple of weekends, many of them have been shut down for fear of violence and looting.

Declining participation

The number of protesters has fallen sharply after President Emmanuel Macron decided to succumb to several of the demands of the Yellow West.

About 1,400 have signed up for a Facebook event for the demonstrations in Versailles made by the yellow vest leader Eric Drouet, while another around 8,000 have printed “interested”. There are also scheduled demonstrations in Lyon, Toulouse, Orleans and Brittany.

Last weekend, around 3,000 participated in protests in Paris, while around 66,000 participated in national protests. Also it was heavy down from the weekend before.

The major protest actions have taken place on the weekends, but some protesters arranged some minor occasional protests throughout the weekdays. Among other things, around 14 people were arrested earlier this week when they tried to block the entrances to the car manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroën in Pfastatt east in France.

Lowest attendance since the start

Also on weekdays, the number of protesters has declined sharply. 4,000 took part in protests on Thursday, the lowest since protests began with 282,000 participants on Saturday 17 November.

Police have also succeeded in removing demonstrators wearing yellow vests from around 300 roundabouts around France.

According to the Interior Ministry, only about 200 roundabouts were still occupied on Saturday.

(© NTB)

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