Monday, 25 March, 2019

France to toughen protest laws amid 'yellow vest' violence

Former French boxing champ surrenders after punching police in protest Ex-boxing champ surrenders after punching French police
Priscilla Morrison | 09 January, 2019, 03:45

France is planning a crackdown on yellow vest protesters after violent clashes hit Paris for the eighth straight week of demonstrations over the weekend.

Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin has sought to distinguish genuine protesters, who want lower taxes and more help for low-income families, from those "who are in the business of ultra-violence".

The Italian deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio, who is leader of the Five Star party, also told the yellow-vest protesters, "do not give up!", an intervention that drew an angry rebuke from Paris.

Some French social media users even claimed Dettinger should be cast in a spin-off of the Rocky franchise, a decades-old series of films about USA boxing champion Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone.

"I support honest citizens protesting against a president who governs against his people", Salvini said, while "firmly" condemning recent protest violence.

"I was tear-gassed, with my friend and my wife, and at a certain point the anger just rose up inside me", said the 2007 and 2008 champion of France's light heavyweight division. "I have the anger of the people in me", he said. "I see all these presidents, ministers and the state stuffing themselves, being incapable of leading by example", Dettinger said.

"Good luck to you, hero of the people!" wrote one supporter, Karim Slimani, on Dettinger's fundraising website page.

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"Faced with ultra-violence, we need to be ultra-severe".

Dettinger, the boxer, could face years in jail if convicted over his rampage on Saturday on the Leopold-Sedar-Senghor bridge which links the Tuileries gardens to the Musee d'Orsay in central Paris.

In another video Dettinger can be seen kicking a policeman on the ground.

The suspect was quickly identified but remained on the loose until he turned himself in on Monday.

Christophe Dettinger, known as "The Gypsy From Massy" during his days in the ring, turned himself in to police on Monday after videos emerged of him assaulting shield-carrying officers during the demonstrations on Saturday.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner described the attack as "cowardly and intolerable", announcing via Twitter that he had contacted the public prosecutor to open an investigation into the incident.

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