PARIS, France – The French authorities have unleashed a water-cannon and police have fired tear gas canisters on protesters who refused to disperse, as protesters demand a policy changes amidst rising fuel prices. Police this morning further mobilized thousands of armed officers in Paris in connection with this third large-scale running demonstration against rising fuel prices. According to French media, the actions scheduled this morning Saturday, December 1st, were met with resistance from police.
Viewing the shooting angles of the tear-gas launchers, in the video, we can see police shooting them in a straight line at protesters. This is in violation of the normative use of tear-gas launchers, and are widely understood to be used as a form of projectile weapon, with the canister itself – not the gas per se – being a high-speed object meant to seriously injure those it strikes.
This is in line with the practices now being taught in France’s Gendarmerie, who train annually with Israel’s IDF.
For more than two weeks, participants in the “yellow vests” action blocked roads in France due to the increase in taxes on diesel fuel and the high cost of living.
This comes as Macron’s authority is increasingly undermined, critics believe he is the weakest Prime Minister in the history of the republic. Satirists have compared him to a 3-star hotel concierge in his demeanor, and is widely viewed as being a ‘grey blur’ with no vision of his own, or moral framework that drives him. It is interesting to note that while these actions by protesters have not been consistently linked to the National Rally (formerly National Front), outside of standard punditry and speculation, there is a general sense that such changes to fuel prices would not have occurred under a National Front led government.
A week ago, thousands of protesters, claiming a ‘leaderless resistance, and who mostly organized through social networks, first staged a protest in Paris, which ended in clashes with police on the Champs Elysees: tear gas was used against the demonstrators. In the whole country 106,000 people rallied.
The police are concerned that small groups that are not “yellow vests” will infiltrate the demonstration in order to fight the security forces and defy the authority of the state.
Critics say this is not a concern being expressed, but a threat. The history of protest movements is riddled with police infiltration and the use of the ‘agents provocateurs‘. In fact, it is so well used in France, that the term ‘agents provocateurs’ is of French origin.
These agents can take the form of radical militants of the left or the right, often posing as either neo-nazis or anarchists. Sometimes the actors involved in the provocation are genuine ‘true believers’ of their favored ideology and are simply called to action by compromised leaders on the dole, and other times those carrying out the acts are themselves paid (or similar) to carry out the illegal acts.
Officials brought 5 thousand police and gendarmes into Paris, which is 2 thousand more than last Saturday. Another 5 thousand people will be brought across the country at other protests.
Authorities have already announced that today the Champs Elysees will be closed to traffic, and pedestrians will pass through checkpoints.
The protesters on the Champs Elysées who were injured a week ago also mobilized this morning at Saturday’s march: some of them, like during the war, broke the windows of shops with wooden planks.
The first “yellow vests” began to gather on the Champs Elysées around 8am this morning around the Place Charles de Gaulle. At present, the first buses of protesters from the regions began to arrive in Paris.
— RT (@RT_com) December 1, 2018