French Protests Shrink Further But May Disrupt New Year’s Festivities

PARIS — France’s yellow vest protest movement continued to decline, with turnout dwindling to 800 in Paris for the seventh round of Saturday demonstrations, according to local authorities, who nonetheless are preparing for possible disruptions on New Year’s Eve.
“Weak turnout in the capital: 800 people spread across several erratic processions. No one hurt, nothing damaged,” said the Paris Préfecture de Police. Out of 57 people questioned, 33 were held in police custody.
The so-called yellow vest protests, which have been taking place on Saturdays since November, retreated considerably over the last three weekends with fewer people taking to the streets. Last weekend’s demonstrations in the French capital were also sporadic, with numbers of protestors down to below 39,000 following 66,000 the previous week, according to government estimates. Flare-ups of violence in the Montmartre neighborhood as well as its famed Avenue des Champs Elysées last weekend, however, prompted calls for peace and order from the country’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.
Gearing up for possible protests linked to the yellow vest movement on New Year’s Eve, the Paris police department plans to secure the district surrounding the Avenue des Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe —conducting security checks before allowing people into the area—as well

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