France trip? What you need to know about the protests.

Violent protests have spread across France in the past week following the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old teenager in a Paris suburb.

More than 800 people were arrested on Thursday night after protesters caused widespread destruction in dozens of cities, setting cars and buildings on fire, looting shops and clashing with riot police. On Friday, several streets in the Paris region and other major cities such as Marseille were cordoned off and public transport disrupted as more than 40,000 police officers were deployed across the country to control the protests.

The peak summer travel season is underway, with many tourists heading to Paris and other parts of France for their summer holidays. Here’s what you need to know about how your travel could be affected.

Clashes began in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday night, when police shot and killed the male teenage driver – a French national of North African descent, publicly identified as Nahel M. – who had stopped at a traffic light. But was stopped. The violence quickly spread to surrounding neighborhoods of the Paris region as news of the murder rekindled decades-long grievances over racial discrimination in the working-class areas. The police officer who shot the driver was taken into custody on Thursday on a charge of voluntary manslaughter.

After three nights of rioting, Clamart, in the south-western suburbs of Paris, imposed a curfew between 9 pm and 6 am until Monday. Other communities affected by the violence include Bezons, Genvilliers, Garges-les-Gonesses, Meudon and L’Île-Saint-Denis, close to the headquarters of the 2024 Olympics.

The center of Paris, which is home to tourist attractions such as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, was largely unaffected until Thursday night, when looters descended on Rue de Rivoli, one of the city’s main shopping streets, and ransacked a Nike store.

Police asked people in the popular tourist areas of Marseille and Bordeaux to leave on Thursday night after street fires and violent clashes between police and protesters. On Friday, Marseille banned all demonstrations.

On Friday, the Ministry of Interior ordered the suspension All bus and tram services After sunset, in response to turbulence.

The Greater Paris region had already reduced services in recent days to limit protesters’ mobility at night, and the city’s metro system will close an hour earlier over the weekend. Ile-de-France Mobilites, the regional transport agency, continues to issue service updates. on its website.

The State Department has advised against traveling to France, but it security alert issued Thursday highlighted the violence and urged United States citizens to avoid “mass gatherings and areas with significant police activity.”

“Some cities are imposing curfews,” the alert said. “As always, it is a good practice to inform your friends or family of your whereabouts.”

A State Department advisory issued in 2022 is still in place, urging travelers to “use increased caution in France due to terrorism and civil unrest”.

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