April 30, 2019 | Story | No Comments
Yellow Vest protesters who have suffered life-changing injuries at the hands of French police have launched their own association, promising fresh actions against police brutality.
Called “the mutilated for the edification of others,” the collective aims to accurately calculate the number of people who have been injured nationally by police during Yellow Vest protests. It also called for an end to the use of the non-lethal weapons deployed by French police — namely tear gas canisters and Flash Balls — and a large national demonstration is scheduled in Paris on May 26.
Among those attending was Jerome Rodrigues, a prominent Yellow Vest leader who was hit in the eye with a gas canister during a demonstration in January. “You have 19 people in front of you and you have only 26 eyes that look back,” he told the press conference. “Count, there is a small problem,” he added.
“We demand the truth, justice and the ban on so-called sublethal weapons,” said Robin Pages, another activist. He accused French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner of “lying” when the he suggested that only “10 people have been hit in the head by LBD [Flash Ball] shots.”
According to statistics gathered by the activist group Desarmons-les (“Disarm Them”), at least 154 people have been seriously injured by police use of non-lethal weapons during protests. Of that number, 22 people have lost the use of an eye due to Flash Balls. A further five have had their hands torn off by gas canisters.
The growing list of casualties has done little to prevent police use of non-lethal weapons, who fired gas at hundreds of protesters in order to prevent them from gathering at the EU Parliament building in Strasbourg on Saturday.
Now in entering its 25th week, the movement has morphed from one protesting a planned fuel tax hike into a wider campaign against austerity and the pro-business policies of the French government.
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