Protester loses hand in Paris clashes

Frederick Owens
February 11, 2019

Riot police run past burning dustbins set on fire by yellow vest protesters during a 13th straight weekend of demonstrations.

Despite certain concessions made by the authorities, like cut taxes and wage hikes, the Yellow Vests are pledging to carry on these rallies.

Now, in their 13th consecutive week, the protests have become a sort of an uprising against the French President, Emmanuel Macron, who is seen as out of touch with common people. Witnesses told the French AFP news agency that the man's hand had been torn apart when flash-ball grenade exploded.

Di Maio, of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, said Sunday it was "legitimate" for him to meet a group of French protesters who were about to stand in May's European Parliament elections.

Today, there have been more clashes between riot police and protestors on the street, with tear gas and grenades deployed.

Representatives for the yellow vests disputed the previous week's numbers, claiming the turnout was higher.

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"What's being called the great national debate has so far been very popular with hundreds of thousands of French people, but many yellow-vesters have denounced it as a marketing ploy", Beardsley said.

Paris police confirmed that a demonstrator was injured in the hand and been treated by paramedics, but did not identify the victim. By 2pm officers had arrested 10 people, they added.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio has defended his controversial meeting with Yellow Vests protesters, which prompted Paris to recall the French ambassador from Rome and sparked a crisis in bilateral ties.

Thousands of protesters also turned out in the French cities of Marseille and Montpellier as well as Bordeaux and Toulouse and in several cities in France's north and west.

Politicians from across the political spectrum condemned the arson attack on the home of Richard Ferrand, a close ally of Macron and president of Parliament's Lower House.

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