France’s capital has once again seen vicious clashes between an irate public and state police as crowds hit the streets of Paris for the fifth weekend in a row, to rally against the government’s inept and many believe anti-France governance.
Thousands of angry people set out from the Place du Châtelet in the city centre heading towards Place de la Republique. Many thousands of angry citizens joined the march. As usual, corporation-owned on-message media dismissed the numbers involved as hundreds when the videos show otherwise.
Massive numbers of police were deployed as hundreds of previous, anti-regime rallies in the French capital ended up in riots and violent outbreaks. The police made 24 arrests ahead of the protest, the French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, confirmed.
Tensions quickly rose right after the start of the protest as the police repeatedly sought to disperse the crowd to make arrests and prevent those they called “black-clad rioters” from forming any “groups.”
Videos posted on social media show that heated exchanges led to standoffs and often violent clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators on several occasions. At some point, protesters also set a scooter on fire and left it in the middle of a street.
The officers were seen beating some demonstrators with batons. One activist beating a drum was seen visibly injured in the head in one such incident. Closer to the destination, police had to use tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowd. The protesters occupied Place de la Republique and were burning flares and smoke pellets and refusing to leave. The French media reported, citing Interior Ministry sources, that the number of arrests in Paris had surpassed 100.
Paris was not the only city to witness demonstrations on Saturday; rallies were organized in most of France’s large cities, including Lille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille, Toulouse and Strasbourg. However, most of these were peaceful and passed off without any incidents.
Indeed, across Europe, hundreds of anti-lockdown protests were held but were reported only in local media. In Riga, the capital of Latvia, thousands of citizens poured into the city to vent their frustration at losing their livelihoods, their homes, healthcare access just to ‘line the pockets of politicians’. Source
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