As France braces for another wave of potentially violent "yellow vest" protests over the weekend, the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) issued a safety advisory for journalists who want to be on the field in France and Belgium.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has warned journalists covering "yellow vest" demonstrations to be prepared for safety risks ahead of fresh protests that authorities fear could turn violent once again.
The US-based NGO published a what-to-do list in moments of tear gas use and aggression.
The guideline advised journalists "to have full battery on their cell phones," "wear clothing and footwear that allow you to move swiftly" and "always plan an evacuation route."
According to the CPJ, a journalist covering the events in Paris told the committee that the majority of protestors are non-threatening, but the tension increased when the police started cracking down protestors.
The "yellow vest" demonstrations began November 17 over the government plan to raise taxes on diesel and gasoline, but by the time French President Macron bowed in the aftermath of three weeks of violent protests and abandoned the new fuel tax, the protesters were demanding much more.
The protests inspired demonstrations in Belgium as well, notably around fuel depots in the French-speaking south.
Paris is on high alert on Saturday with major security measures in place. Shops, museums, metro stations and the Tour Eiffel are due to close, while top-flight football matches and music shows were cancelled.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said 8,000 police would be deployed in Paris alongside a dozen armoured vehicles for crowd control as part of "exceptional" measures to contain the risk of violence.
French police cracked on protesters with tear gas and water cannons during three weeks of protests that have left four people dead, hundreds injured and littered central Paris with burned cars and shattered windows. Hundreds of people were also arrested by security personnel.