Friday, 18 January, 2019

France to ban participation in unauthorised protests: PM

The former French boxing champion was filmed punching and kicking police officers The former French boxing champion was filmed punching and kicking police officers Credit Gonzalo Fuentes Reuters
Isaac Mcdaniel | 11 January, 2019, 06:03

Clashes hit Paris for the eighth straight week of yellow vest protests this past weekend and prompted French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday to announce the mobilization of around 80,000 police next Saturday.

He said the government would support a new law to punish the organisers of unauthorised protests, banning known troublemakers from taking part and arresting demonstrators who turn up wearing masks to hide their identities.

The new law would ban troublemakers-who Philippe called "casseurs", or thugs-from protests and crack down on people at demonstrations who hide their faces with masks.

The onus would be on "the troublemakers, and not taxpayers, to pay for the damage caused" to businesses and property during the protests, Philippe added.

Numerous "yellow vests" are demanding the resignation of Macron, a demand dismissed as undemocratic by the government.

However, supporters of the Yellow Vest movement have branded Dettinger a hero who was simply "beating" officers at their own game.

The images of renewed violence and destruction in Paris last Saturday underscored the difficulty of containing a leaderless movement that appeared to be petering out at the end of a year ago but has since gained new momentum.

"The poll conducted after the latest announcements of Emmanuel Macron in response to the "yellow vest" crisis shows a rebound in the approval of the president's action, the best increase observed since November 2017", the pollster said.

The anti-government protesters on Saturday used a forklift truck to force their way into a government ministry compound, torched cars near the Champs Elysees and in one violent skirmish on a bridge over the Seine punched and kicked riot police officers to the ground.

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Christophe Dettinger handed himself to police and was immediately detained.

An Italian government leader says his populist movement is ready to help anti-government protesters in France.

On Facebook he wrote: "I was gassed with my friend, my wife, and at some point I was taken over by anger, so yes I acted badly".

Images of a policeman striking several protesters in the southern city of Toulon on Saturday also risk fanning the flames.

The move led to criticism from political leaders on the far right and radical left, who have encouraged demonstrators to continue taking to the streets.

"In France, as in Italy, politics has become deaf to the needs of citizens who have been kept out of the most important decisions affecting the people".

Almost 300,000 people took to the streets in "act one" on 17 November to protest against government plans to raise the price of fuel.

As reported, a street artist known as Pascal Boyart, AKA Pboy, recently finished a mural depicting the yellow vests' struggle against the French regime.

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