Monday, 18 March, 2019

France to crack down on unauthorized protests

The boxer punching a police officer YELLOW VESTS A former pro boxer was filmed punching riot police in France
Rita Gibson | 10 January, 2019, 02:01

The SCSI-CFDT police union said the funds should be used to compensate the two officers targeted by Dettinger, who were removed from duty while recovering from their injuries.

Driving the recent unrest is anger, particularly among low-paid workers, over a squeeze on household incomes and a perception that Macron is indifferent to ordinary citizens' needs as he enacts reforms seen as pro-business and favouring the wealthy. He says he is proud of his country but anxious for his children's future.

Speaking to French broadcaster TF1 on Monday, Edouard Philippe said the government can not accept people who participate in the protests to show violence.

He admitted he "acted badly" after witnessing brutality against demonstrators. Countless messages of support and even admiration, some hailing him as the protest movement's own "Rambo", have been posted on social media. Leetchi said the funds were intended only for legal fees.

Guillaume Kasbarian, a member of Mr Macron's parliamentary majority, tweeted that the crowdfunding was a "moral wreck", shameful at a time when associations struggle to raise money for "more exemplary and humanistic" projects.

"The government is in favour of our law being amended and punishing those who do not respect this obligation to declare protests, those who take part in undeclared protests, those who arrive at protests with balaclavas", added the prime minister.

Mr Macron made a raft of economic concessions in December to appease the protesters.

At least 10 people died and more than a thousand others were wounded in the protests.

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"And faced with ultra-violence, we need to be ultra-severe".

Journalists have been repeatedly attacked while covering protests but Sophia Chikirou, a former campaign director for the far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon's La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, said after earlier disturbances that she feels no sympathy for them.

French President Emmanuel Macron's government has scrambled to reorganise its planned national debate on the Yellow Vest crisis following the surprise resignation of the lead co-ordinator Chantal Jouanno.

However, this was the case of Luigi Di Maio, the Italian deputy prime minister and minister of labour.

About 50,000 people took to the streets again on Saturday in cities around France - more than the previous week's protest, but fewer than the 280,000 who turned out in November.

In future, Philippe said, the onus would be on "the troublemakers, and not taxpayers, to pay for the damage caused" to businesses and property during the protests, which began peacefully in mid-November over taxes but quickly became radicalized.

On Friday, Griveaux said those still protesting were "agitators who want insurrection and, basically, to overthrow the government".

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