PM Edouard Philippe: France to ban participation in unauthorised protests

Jan 09, 2019, 11:22 IST | Agencies

PM Edouard Philippe also announced plans to ban known "troublemakers" from taking part in demonstrations, in the same way known football hooligans in the past had been banned from stadiums

PM Edouard Philippe: France to ban participation in unauthorised protests
Demonstrators had on Saturday used a construction site vehicle to smash open doors of a government building. Pic/AFP

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday announced plans to ban participation in unauthorised demonstrations as the government scrambles to try to end weeks of violent "yellow vest" protests.

Seven weeks into an anti-government rebellion marked by weekly clashes in Paris and other French cities, Philippe said the government would back a "new law punishing those who do not respect the requirement to declare (protests), those who take part in unauthorised demonstrations and those who arrive at demonstrations wearing face masks."

He also announced plans to ban known "troublemakers" from taking part in demonstrations, in the same way known football hooligans in the past had been banned from stadiums. "That measure worked well," he said, referring to the stadium ban.

In future, Philippe said, the onus would be on "the troublemakers, and not taxpayers, to pay for the damage caused" to businesses and property during the protests, which began peacefully in mid-November over taxes but quickly became radicalised. Many of the protesters are demanding that President Emmanuel Macron resign but the government dismissed it as an undemocratic move.

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