Yellow Vest Activist’s Hand is Ripped Off as Violent Clashes Between Police and Protesters in Paris Enter 13th Week

Protesters wearing a yellow vest throw back tear gas canisters to police officers near the National Assembly in Paris, on during the 13th consecutive Saturday of demonstrations

Violence broke out on the streets of Paris today as anti riot police confronted a mass of French yellow vest protesters on the 13th consecutive weekend of demonstrations.


Tear gas and baton charges were used around the Champs Elysee, after demonstrators threw stones at officers and vandals tried to smash shop windows.

Shocking footage shows protesters gathering around a man whose hand appears to have been ripped off which spurts blood as he cries in pain.

Other grisly scenes show demonstrators trying to topple boards, throwing planks of wood and cornering police as more tear gas is thrown.

Many businesses were shut as the Yellow Vests – who are named after their high visibility jackets – mobilised across the country.

An injured protester is given help during a demonstration after baton charges and tear gas were used around the Champs Elysee
Protesters gathering around a man whose hand appears to have been ripped off which spurts blood as he cries in pain
Grisly scenes show blood splattered on the ground as protesters pour water over a mans wound after his hand was torn off
Firemen work to battle blazing cars in Bordeaux on Saturday afternoon in scenes that are becoming familiar in Macron’s France
A protester faces police officers amid tear gas smoke outside the National Assembly in Paris. The protest in the French capital has passed the National Assembly and will end up near the Eiffel Tower
Riot police lift a demonstrator up by his limbs as they remove him from heavy clashes on the streets of Bordeaux this afteroon
Many businesses were shut as the Yellow Vests – who are named after their high visibility motoring jackets – mobilised across the country
Men destroy the window of a bank. The protest in the French capital has passed the National Assembly and will end up near the Eiffel Tower
A protester from the movement climbs a police vehicle on the Champs Elysees during the ‘Act XIII’ demonstration
Protesters wearing a yellow vest gather outside the National Assembly in Paris. There have been months of continual unrest, including riots that saw the Arc de Triomphe and other public monuments attacked, with shops looted and set on fire
Police officers stand amid tear gas smoke outside the National Assembly in Paris. Extremists wearing black balaclavas infiltrated the crowds
Protesters march during a demonstration near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris as they gather to keep pressure on French President Emmanuel Macron’s government

Four armoured cars containing chemical weapons dispensers were being used to patrol the demonstration, together with water canons and other police vehicles.

In shocking footage, a detonation is heard before a group of protesters call out for medics and surround someone whose hand is seen very severely injured. It was reportedly torn off by a detonating sting grenade.

The protest in the French capital has passed the National Assembly and will end up near the Eiffel Tower.

It follows months of continual unrest, including riots that saw the Arc de Triomphe and other public monuments attacked, with shops looted and set on fire.

An officer at the scene said: ‘Extremists wearing black balaclavas have infiltrated the crowds and are intent on violence.’

Among those in the crowd was Jerome Rodrigues, a leading Yellow Vest who lost an eye after being hit by a fragment from a rubber bullet fired at him last month.

Like others who have been mutilated by such weapons he called for them to ‘be outlawed immediately,’ but they were still in use today.

Eric Drouet, another Yellow Vests leader, said the incident justified ‘a mass uprising without precedent by all useful and necessary means.’

Such words were of huge concern for President Macron, who has accused British politicians of ‘tearing society apart’ by allowing a Brexit referendum in Britain.

A protester throws a tear gas canister on the facade of the National Assembly in Paris
Protesters wearing a yellow vest stand in tear gas smoke near the Eiffel Tower in Paris
An injured policeman in riot gear is given help during a demonstration by the “yellow vests” movement
A protester wearing a yellow vest attempts to remove a banner depicting President of the French National Assembly Richard Ferrand and French MPs, outside the National Assembly
A protester throws a wooden plank on the facade and a man destroys boards of the National Assembly
Yellow flowers are seen on the top of a mast displaying the French national flag as yellow vest protesters gather around the Arc de Triomphe
Among those in the crowd was Jerome Rodrigues (pictured), a leading Yellow Vest who lost an eye after being hit by a fragment from a rubber bullet fired at him last month

It comes as a criminal enquiry was launched after an arson attack on the home of the President of France’s National Assembly.

Richard Ferrand, who is the equivalent of the Speaker in Britain’s House of Commons and a close personal friend of President Emmanuel Macron, described the attack on the property in his Brittany constituency as ‘violence and intimidation’.

The National Gendarmerie discovered a blanket, tire residue and a homemade torch soaked in fuel on the site, leaving ‘the criminal origin in no doubt,’ according to a statement from Mr Ferrand’s office.

The Yellow Vests have been joined by extremists from the far Right and the ultra-Left, as well as anarchists intent on causing as much damage as possible.

The independent Mr Macron, leader of the Republic On The Move party, won the French presidential election in a landslide in 2017, but he is now dubbed the ‘President of the Rich’ with polls showing his popularity rating struggling to get above 30 per cent.

Today’s ugly scenes are typical of those that have regularly reduced Paris and other towns and cities to a war zone.

The yellow vest activists, who have brought hundreds of thousands onto 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.

President Emmanuel Macron – the target of many demonstrators’ anger – seems to be clawing back support as he tries to quell the movement with a national political debate. Recent polls show Macron’s approval ratings rising.

Several competing groups of yellow vests are getting ready to present candidates for the European Parliament election in May, while other figures insist the movement must remain non-political.

Around 69,000 people nationwide took part in French protests last week, down from more than 80,000 the previous two weekends, according to the French Interior Ministry.

The yellow vests movement began in November and was named after the fluorescent safety vests that French motorists must carry.

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Peter Allen and Sophie Law