The French capital – and the rest of France – is on yellow alert, with many tourist sites to close on Saturday.
Many of Paris’ famous tourist sites will shut down on Saturday as fears grow of more street violence in the ongoing “yellow vest” anti-government protests. This follows some of the worst riots the city has seen in decades last Saturday.
With almost 90,000 police officers deployed across the country, including 8,000 in Paris, plus armoured vehicles patrolling the capital, the likelihood of clashes is high, the BBC reports.
Shops and restaurants along the Champs-Elysees and other major shopping streets have been advised to close, and also to take away outdoor tables and chairs that the rioters could use for projectiles and for burning.
The Arc de Triomphe, which was damaged in last weekend’s riots, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Orsay art museums, the Grand Palais and the city’s opera houses are among the sites that will be not be open. Many football matches have also been postponed.
In a move to appease the rioters, the government has already said it will not go ahead with an unpopular rise in fuel tax, but this does not seem to be enough for the leaderless protests.
Paris is bracing for “significant violence” on Saturday, an interior ministry official told the AFP news agency, as activists from both the far right and far left prepare for the next march.
Outside Paris, there have been, and are likely to be, clashes with police in major cities like Marseille, Toulouse and Nantes.