June 29, 2022

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Paris protests escalate as police fire tear gas at demonstrators

Paris protests escalate as police fire tear gas at demonstrators
Saturday 12 February 2022 3:19 pm French police have fired tear gas at demonstrators blockading the Champs Elysees in Paris, as protests over Covid-19 measures escalate across the capital. Despite the authorities’ best efforts, dozens of cars from the “Freedom Convoy” protesting against restrictions have evaded checkpoints and entered the capital. The French protests are…

France's Motorists Inspired By Ottowa 'Freedom Convoy' Protest Defy Ban To Converge In Paris

French police have fired tear gas at demonstrators blockading the Champs Elysees in Paris, as protests over Covid-19 measures escalate across the capital.

Despite the authorities’ best efforts, dozens of cars from the “Freedom Convoy” protesting against restrictions have evaded checkpoints and entered the capital.

The French protests are against rules requiring a vaccine pass to enter many public places, and follow months of regular demonstrations against the pass in Paris and other cities.

The group was inspired by the self-styled Canadian “Freedom Convoy” which is disrupting trade on the US border and has occupied streets in capital city, Ottawa.

Austria and Belgium have banned such convoys from entering their capitals, with copycat demonstrations also emerging in Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

Vehicles carrying activists managed to evade police checkpoints in central Paris, and lined the roads with traffic in front of the Arc de Triomphe monument.

Inspired by horn-blaring demonstrations in Canada, the motorists waved French flags and honked in defiance of a police order not to enter the city.

Police told protesters to move on as some climbed on their cars in the middle of the iconic roundabout at the top of the Champs Elysees.

The authorities have mobilised more than 7,000 officers over the next three days, and deployed armoured personnel carriers and water cannon trucks in preparation for the protests.

Earlier this morning, police revealed they had stopped 500 vehicles that were trying to get into Paris, and nearly 300 tickets were handed out to protestors by mid-morning.

They also arrested seven people: two were allegedly carrying knives, hammers and petrol canisters, while five reportedly held slingshots.

Meanwhile, police have allowed two street marches by anti-vaccine and Yellow Vest demonstrators to go ahead in Paris this afternoon.

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