Demonstrations began with peaceful marches in Paris and across France for the 13th consecutive Saturday. Riot police quickly escalated to violence, pepper spraying the crowds and attacking protesters with batons and tear gas. Numerous casualties were reported. One severe injury was from a police dispersal grenade that blew a demonstrators hand off.
Horrific violence has been a hallmark from the government forces. Last Saturday’s march was specifically focused against police violence, as thousands have been injured by police. Video of police tear gassing children in strollers came out of today’s demonstrations.
Gilets Jaunes, or Yellow Vest demonstrations began in November after a fuel tax hike. The protests expanded to become a national popular uprising against the Macron government. The Yellow Vests have inspired numerous movements in other countries and show no signs of abating.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner went to Twitter to express “disgust” when protesters torched an armored military vehicle. Many responded with footage of the demonstrator who lost his hand and the children who had been tear gassed by police.
In Lyon, fascists wearing yellow vests were thrown out of demonstrations earlier in the day. They returned later to attack the Yellow Vest marchers, only to be run off again.