France deploys thousands of police officers to counter yellow vest rallies in Paris
The French government has deployed thousands of police officers Paris to counter fresh yellow vest demonstrations, which are planned to be held alongside global climate rallies in the capital on Saturday.
At least seven thousand officers, along with launchers and armored police units, are being deployed in the French capital on Saturday to face those who "obviously want to take revenge" and have already announced that they “will stop at nothing," said Paris police chief Didier Lallement on Friday.
"We will have the forces necessary to prevent destructive acts," he said. "We have changed our strategy and mode of intervention."
He explained that 180 motorcycle units and a number of highly mobile police squadrons are in reserve to be mobilized anywhere across the city.
Firefighters are also prepared to intervene if necessary, accordion to police.
Lallement also called on the organizers to take action to "guard against those who want to fight dirty.”
The Yellow Vest protests, named after the high-visibility safety jackets worn by most of the demonstrators, started in mid-November over fuel tax increases but morphed into a nationwide movement against government policies.
On many occasions, police fired tear gas and stun grenades at protesters, who hit back by setting fire to trash cans and throwing rocks at police.
The protests coincide with nationwide rallies in France and many other countries to raise awareness about a widening climate crisis.