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France to ban participation in unauthorised protests: PM

11 January 2019

A former boxing champion who attacked police during violent yellow vest protests has raised more than €100,000 in public donations to fund his defence, to the anger of the French government.

As of Tuesday morning, over 7,000 people had pledged a total of 117,000 euros ($134,000) on the Leetchi, a French website used to raise funds for individuals and causes, to help pay legal costs for Dettinger, who remains in custody.

Numerous protesters are demanding that the centrist President Emmanuel Macron to resign, which is dismissed as undemocratic by the government. "I don't share this opinion", Griveaux said.

She pointed to the fact that RT resources had 20 times more views of the reports about the yellow vests protests than French media.

The suspect, identified by French media as Christophe Dettinger, was filmed beating up police officers Saturday in Paris in videos that went viral on social media and created an outpouring of comments either praising or lambasting the man's actions.

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Mr Dettinger, known in the ring as "The Gypsy From Massy", a town near Paris, turned himself into police in the capital on yesterday morning.

Two months after they started blocking roads, occupying highway tollbooths and staging sometimes-violent street protests in Paris, the yellow vests aim to inject new momentum into a movement that weakened over the holidays.

Images of a policeman striking several protesters in the southern city of Toulon on Saturday also risk fanning the flames.

"In France, as in Italy, politics has become deaf to the needs of citizens who have been kept out of the most important decisions affecting the people".

"Some yellow vest protesters and other people dressed in black ... got hold of a construction vehicle which was in the street nearby and smashed open the entrance gate to the ministry", he said.

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Nicolas Tenzer, a political commentator, essayist and former top civil servant, said on French TV that the country faced an "insurrectionist movement driven by the extreme right and left", which has adopted violence as a natural element of its combat.

Both yellow vests and "casseurs", hooded youths from anti-capitalist or anarchist groups, appeared to be involved.

The demonstrations shaking France since mid-November had further dented Macron's standing at the end of previous year, with his popularity dropping to record lows amid a backlash that started out as an outcry over planned fuel tax hikes.

The head of France's employers federation, MEDEF International, warned on Tuesday that footage of the protests would scare off foreign tourists.

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France to ban participation in unauthorised protests: PM