By Erik Sherman
December 7, 2018

The “gilets jaunes,” or yellow vest violent protests in Paris are taking a heavy toll on the city and its economy. Major tourist attractions are closing on Saturday and retailers are losing sales.

French authorities are shuttering such sites as the Louvre and d’Orsay museums, the two operas, and the Grand Palais, according to NBC News. Four first-division soccer matches have been cancelled.

Retailers have lost 1 billion euros, or $1.1 billion, since the protests began in November, the French retail federation told Reuters.

Shop and restaurant owners near the Avenue des Champs-Élyséess and the Bastille are being asked by police to close Saturday. Authorities also plan to remove objects from the streets that protestors could use as projectiles.

The protests, named for yellow vests that drivers are required under law for roadside emergencies, began over an additional tax on diesel fuel proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron. The tax was supposed to be a tool to help the country transition to electric vehicles.

Although Macron withdrew the tax policy on Wednesday, the riots—some of the worst since 1968—have continued with right-and left-wing interests combined to escalate the actions.

Since the start, protests have broadened to a general opposition to Macron and neoliberal policies. “The average demonstrator in this protest is a working class person who wants to have an affordable lifestyle, wants the resignation of Macron, and is either centrist, sympathetic to the left or sympathetic to the right,” Dartmouth College historian Mark Bray told Fortune.

 

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