teargas and turmoil on the Champs-Elysées

Police officers are seen on the Champs-Elysees avenue as cars try to block the traffic during their “Convoi de la liberte” (The Freedom Convoy), a vehicular convoy to protest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine and restrictions in Paris, France, February 12, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Late yesterday, the Champs-Elysées was enveloped in smoke caused by tear gas fired from canisters. An effective method to disperse crowds, it burns not only your eyes, but your nose and throat. Another method the police used was to bring in vehicle-removal trucks to literally lift the offending parked cars right off the street and take them to the city pound. I’m not sure how much it costs to get your car back. (I don’t own a car.)

French anti-riot policemen detain a man on the Champs Elysees in Paris on February 12, 2022 as convoys of protesters so called “Convoi de la Liberte” arrived in the French capital. – Thousands of protesters in convoys, inspired by Canadian truckers paralysing border traffic with the US, were heading to Paris from across France on February 11, with some hoping to blockade the capital in opposition to Covid-19 restrictions despite police warnings to back off. The protesters include many anti-Covid vaccination activists, but also people protesting against fast-rising energy prices that they say are making it impossible for low-income families to make ends meet. (Photo by Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP)

According to this morning’s tweet from the Paris police, 97 protesters were “apprehended” (stop and search) and 513 were “verbalized” (issued a fine). 81 people are in custody.

placed in police custody for “organization of a prohibited demonstration” and “participation in a group formed with a view to committing violence”.

The general consensus is that the French “Freedom Convoy” protesters failed in their attempt to reproduce the Canadian model. By this morning (Sunday) they were gone, some to go back home, others to head north to Brussels where another demonstration is scheduled for tomorrow.

President Macron heaved a sigh of relief, no doubt. He has other issues on the table. Also, this year is a presidential election year beginning on April 10. 

Below, the first video shows police removing cars from the Champs yesterday. The second video shows cops “apprehending” protesters and firing tea gas into the crowd.


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