Paris un­rest burns on

Ac­tivist loses 4 fin­gers in clash out­side par­lia­ment build­ing

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - THOMAS ADAM­SON In­for­ma­tion for this ar­ti­cle was con­trib­uted by Jari Tan­ner of The As­so­ci­ated Press.

PARIS — A French yel­low-vest pro­tester’s hand was ripped apart Satur­day dur­ing vi­o­lent clashes in Paris as demon­stra­tors tried to storm the French Na­tional Assem­bly in a 13th con­sec­u­tive week of un­rest.

Po­lice said the in­jured pro­tester lost four fin­gers as po­lice swooped in to stop the crowd from breach­ing the par­lia­ment’s ex­te­rior. Po­lice could not con­firm French me­dia re­ports that the hand of the demon­stra­tor, who is now be­ing treated in the hos­pi­tal, was blown up by a grenade used to dis­perse un­ruly crowds.

As scuf­fles broke out in front of the Na­tional Assem­bly and po­lice re­sponded with tear gas, paramedics hud­dled around the in­jured pro­tester at the Na­tional Assem­bly gates.

Po­lice used ba­tons and fired tear gas to dis­perse demon­stra­tors, some of whom threw de­bris at riot po­lice. Cars, mo­tor­bikes and trash bins were set ablaze as the protest moved to­ward the city’s In­valides mon­u­ment and on to the Eif­fel Tower.

French In­te­rior Min­is­ter Christophe Cas­taner went to Twit­ter to ex­press his “dis­gust” as protesters set fire to an anti-ter­ror mil­i­tary car. Its yel­low smok­ing plumes, against the back­drop of the Eif­fel Tower, made for a pow­er­ful image of re­ject­ing au­thor­ity.

Such ve­hi­cles have been a com­mon sight in Paris since deadly ex­trem­ist at­tacks in 2015.

“Ev­ery day the mil­i­tary … pro­tects our com­pa­tri­ots from the risk of ter­ror­ism. These at­tacks are in­tol­er­a­ble,” Cas­taner said.

Po­lice said 31 demon­stra­tors had been ar­rested in the un­rest. But France’s In­te­rior Min­istry said the protest was

sig­nif­i­cantly smaller than the pre­vi­ous week’s.

The yel­low-vest ac­tivists, who have in­spired hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple to take to the streets over the past three months, are now try­ing to achieve elec­toral suc­cess but the move­ment is po­lit­i­cally di­vided and has no ap­pointed leader.

Ear­lier Satur­day, ac­tivists in Latvia staged a picket in front of the French Em­bassy in Riga, the cap­i­tal of the small Baltic Eu­ro­pean Union coun­try, to sup­port the yel­low-vest move­ment and urge Lat­vians to de­mand higher liv­ing stan­dards.

The ac­tivists waved Latvia’s red-and-white flag, shout­ing slo­gans like “the French have wo­ken up, while Lat­vians re­main asleep.”

AP/KAMIL ZIHNIOGLU

Riot po­lice re­spond Satur­day at the Eif­fel Tower in Paris near an anti-ter­ror-squad ve­hi­cle that was set on fire by yel­low vest protesters. One demon­stra­tor’s hand was ripped apart as a group tried to storm the French Na­tional Assem­bly be­fore mov­ing to­ward the Eif­fel Tower.

AP/KAMIL ZIHNIOGLU

Yel­low-vest protesters demon­strate Satur­day in cen­tral Paris. The ac­tivists are try­ing to achieve elec­toral suc­cess de­spite be­ing po­lit­i­cally di­vided and hav­ing no ap­pointed leader.

AP/KAMIL ZIHNIOGLU

A Porsche parked on a street in Paris was van­dal­ized by yel­lowvest protesters dur­ing clashes with po­lice Satur­day.

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