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Shocking footage shows rival Yellow Vest activists fighting each other in Lyon

Astonishing images of anti-government Yellow Vest protestors fighting each other have emerged in France.

Rival groups faced off in Lyon on a day when they were meant to be united in protest against President Emmanuel Macron’s government.

‘A Right-wing group of Yellow Vests attacked a Left-wing one, and the result was carnage,’ said a protestor who witnessed the violence in the South East city on Saturday.

‘They were using any weapons they could lay their hands on, and in the end the police had to break them up.’

The scenes were captured by other witnesses who posted their videos on social media.

Footage shared on Twitter shows two factions of the yellow vest movement clashing in the south eastern city of Lyon in France

Footage shared on Twitter shows two factions of the yellow vest movement clashing in the south eastern city of Lyon in France

French gendarmes stand in tear gas smoke during an anti-government demonstration called by the 'yellow vests' (gilets jaunes) movement, yesterday in Lyon

French gendarmes stand in tear gas smoke during an anti-government demonstration called by the ‘yellow vests’ (gilets jaunes) movement, yesterday in Lyon

French gendarmes take off a barricade during an anti-government demonstration in Lyon yesterday 

French gendarmes take off a barricade during an anti-government demonstration in Lyon yesterday 

Protester with blood stains on his face treats injury

Street medics provide first aid to a woman lying on the ground during an anti-government demonstration

Protester with blood stains on his face treats injury (left) as street medics provide first aid to a woman on the ground in Lyon

The Yellow Vests – who are named after the brightly coloured jackets that all motorists are obliged to carry in France – started out demonstrating against rising fuel prices last November.

But they have now becoming a far broader anti-establishment movement calling for President Macron to resign, and for widespread reform of France’s political system.

Some 55,000 Yellow Vests were involved in the 13th Saturday in a row of demonstrations.

More than 5000 of them were in Paris, where there were 38 arrests following widespread rioting that saw banks, estate agencies, post offices and insurance firms targeted.

Two anti-terrorism patrol vehicles were set alight by the Eiffel Tower, while a Yellow Vest lost four fingers during an attempted assault of the National Assembly, France’s parliament.

A French police officer holds a pepper-spray on his back during an anti-government demonstration in Lyon, France

A French police officer holds a pepper-spray on his back during an anti-government demonstration in Lyon, France

Yellow Vest (Gilets Jaunes) protesters rally in Lyon on yesterday as they take to the streets for the 13th consecutive Saturday

Yellow Vest (Gilets Jaunes) protesters rally in Lyon on yesterday as they take to the streets for the 13th consecutive Saturday

Disturbing images showed the man, who has not been named, being treated by medics shortly after police had fired rubbed bullets at a mob trying to scale metals railings.

‘His hand was torn off following a blast – there was blood everywhere,’ said an eyewitness to the incident, which happened at around 1pm on Saturday.

‘Graffiti was being scrawled on the statues and walls around the parliament building, but nobody got over the railings.’

Baton charges and tear gas were also used around the Champs Elysee, the most famous avenue in France, after demonstrators threw stones at officers and vandals tried to smash shop windows.

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

A protester holds a bottle of wine and a rock to use as projectiles to clash with the police during an anti-government demonstration in Lyon 

A protester holds a bottle of wine and a rock to use as projectiles to clash with the police during an anti-government demonstration in Lyon 

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

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

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.

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

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

Eric Drouet, another Yellow Vests leader, said the Rodrigues incident had 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.

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. 

An injured protester is given help during a demonstration

An injured protester is given help during a demonstration

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

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

Grisly scenes show blood splattered on the ground as protesters pour water over a mans wound after his hand was torn off

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The protest in the French capital passed the National Assembly and ended up near the Eiffel Tower yesterday.  

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

Also yesterday, 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.   

A protester throws a tear gas canister on the facade of the National Assembly in Paris

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

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

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 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

A protester throws a wooden plank on the facade and a man destroys boards of 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

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 

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 

Arsonist firebombs country home of France’s President of the National Assembly

A criminal enquiry has been 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 attack follows months of regular disturbances by the Yellow Vest anti-government movement, who have been behind similar blazes.

Responding to the blaze, President Macron said: ‘Nothing justifies violence or intimidation against an elected representative of the Republic. All my solidarity with Richard Ferrand and his family.’

In turn, Mr Ferrand, 56, posted two photos of the damage to the home in Motreff, which is in the Finistere department of Brittany.

Scorched living room of the property in Motreff, which is in the Finistere department of Brittany

Scorched living room of the property in Motreff, which is in the Finistere department of Brittany

In turn, Mr Ferrand, 56, posted two photos of the damage to the home in Motreff, which is in the Finistere department of Brittany. 

Mr Ferrand was not in the house, which he shares with his partner – the lawyer Sandrine Doucen- at the time, and nobody was hurt.

A statement released through his parliamentary office said he was signing official documents in Rennes, Brittany, when the attack happened on Friday.

‘A neighbour noted that his home located in Motreff, in his constituency of Finistere, had been the target of an arson attack,’ the statement reads.

‘The National Gendarmerie discovered a blanket, a tyre particle, and a homemade torch soaked in fuel,’ adding that ‘the criminal origin does not seem in doubt.’

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said: ‘Shame on those who commit such acts, and friendly support to the Speaker of the National Assembly and his family.’

‘The National Rally and I condemn these facts with the utmost vigor and express our full support for the President of the National Assembly in the face of this aggression,’ said Marine Le Pen of the opposition. 

‘The arson in Richard Ferrand’s home is an extremely serious and totally unacceptable act,’ denounced the president of the National Rally party. 

Christophe Castaner, France’s Interior Minister, has regularly condemned acts of political intimidation by the Yellow Vests.

They have included politicians’ homes being targeted, and toll booths on major motorways being burned down.

He said forensic police officers were combing the damage of the Motreff fire in an attempt to find those responsible.

The Yellow Vests have no official leader, or spokesmen, and have not yet made any comment on the fire.

But prosecutors have made it clear that their involvement would be an obvious line of enquiry during a period of high social disorder.

Mr Ferrand aid he was signing official documents in Rennes, Brittany, when the attack happened on Friday. Nobody was hurt 

Mr Ferrand aid he was signing official documents in Rennes, Brittany, when the attack happened on Friday. Nobody was hurt 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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