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France Descends Into Chaos as Police Aim Live Firearms at Yellow Vest Protests
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49795"><span class="small">Emily Ferguson, Sunday Express</span></a>   
Sunday, 23 December 2018 15:13

Ferguson writes: "The nation was in the grip of a SIXTH Saturday of chaos yesterday as violence erupted around the north of the capital on a so-called 'Act VI' Day of rage. Riot police used tear gas and baton charges, and at least one police officer pulled a gun on Yellow Vest protestors."

The nation was in the grip of a SIXTH Saturday of chaos yesterday as violence erupted around the north of the capital on a so-called 'Act VI' Day of Rage. Riot police used tear gas and baton charges, and at least one police officer pulled a gun on Yellow Vest protestors. (photo: AFP/Getty Images)
The nation was in the grip of a SIXTH Saturday of chaos yesterday as violence erupted around the north of the capital on a so-called 'Act VI' Day of Rage. Riot police used tear gas and baton charges, and at least one police officer pulled a gun on Yellow Vest protestors. (photo: AFP/Getty Images)


France Descends Into Chaos as Police Aim Live Firearms at Yellow Vest Protests

By Emily Ferguson, Sunday Express

23 December 18


FRENCH police shockingly levelled live firearms at so-called Yellow-Vest demonstrators protesting over Emmanuel Macron’s austerity measures showing just how deeply France is descending into anarchy.

he nation was in the grip of a SIXTH Saturday of chaos yesterday as violence erupted around the north of the capital on a so-called ‘Act VI’ Day of rage. Riot police used tear gas and baton charges, and at least one police officer pulled a gun on Yellow Vest protestors. The demonstrators, who are named after the high visibility jackets they wear, were depleted in number from last Saturday which saw 66,000 people protesting across the country but a massive 38,000 took to the streets to signal to Macron that this protest is not going away any time soon.

And yesterday saw yet another death as a result of street protests – bringing the total to 10 in six weeks of action.

A 36-year-old man died near Perpignan in the South of France as he ploughed his car into a truck to avoid demonstrators yesterday morning.

A state of emergency was declared in France this week as violence on the capital’s streets continue.

Cars were set on fire, guns snatched from riot police, restaurants and cafés robbed and Paris landmarks, such as the Arc De Triomphe, covered in graffiti.

The protests have spilled over into neighbouring EU member states, such as Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands.

Rumours of planned protests at The Palace of Versailles, the popular tourist destination located about 20 kilometres southwest of central Paris, resulted in its closure to visitors for the day.

But fears of unrest at the chateau were unfounded, as only a dozen demonstrators actually turned up. Instead, protestors gathered in the Montmartre area of northern Paris.

Other protests took place across the rest of the country, with protestors roadblocking near the French-Spanish and Belgium border.

Paris police conducted 220 arrests during yesterday’s protests, including a Yellow Vest leader, Eric Drouet.

Saturday’s demonstrations were ‘Act VI’ of the national movement, sparked by a new tax on petrol and diesel.

The tax has since been dropped by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, who repeatedly vowed he would not give in to the unrest.

As well backtracking on the fuel hike, Macron has announced a catalogue of emergency measures.

In a long-awaited address on primetime television, the president promised a rise in the minimum wage, benefits for the retired and a €10 billion package of financial relief for households.

Despite Macron’s concessions and public pleas to talk protestors out of further action, demonstrators continue to take to the street and the president’s poll ratings have plummeted to a record low.

According to the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, the French President’s approval rating dropped to 23 percent, down from 66 per cent when he was elected as leader last year.

Despite the continued violence, the number of protestors are waning.

About 38,000 people were protesting across the country yesterday, compared to 66,000 last Saturday.

Within Paris itself, police sources told the BBC that at around 4pm (3pm GMT) about 2,000 were demonstrating in Paris, compared to about 4,000 last Saturday.

French stores have reported an average drop-off of 25 per cent in sales compared with the same period last year, junior economy minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher told French TV.

The news comes as most shops, except for some luxury boutiques, remained open for business in the run-up to Christmas.

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