French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Paris could soon ban protests in “worst hit” neighborhoods, after radical protesters turned a Yellow Vests’ demonstration on Champs-Elysees into smashing, looting, and burning mayhem.
“From next Saturday, we will ban ‘yellow vest’ protests in neighbourhoods that have been the worst hit as soon as we see sign of the presence of radical groups and their intent to cause damage,” Philippe told reporters on Monday.
Philippe then announced that the city’s police chief, Michel Delpuech, will be sacked and replaced on Wednesday by Didier Lallement, currently the top police official in the southwestern region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Philippe criticized the Paris police for their handling of Saturday’s protests, saying “the strategy for maintaining order was not correctly implemented.”
Philippe also took aim at those social media users who he said were encouraging the rioting, saying that “all those who participate, encourage, or glorify it on social networks are complicit,” and warning that “they will have to take responsibility.”
Earlier on Monday, it emerged that future protests and demonstrations could be banned in the heart of Paris after French President Emmanuel Macron consulted with his interior and justice ministers during an emergency meeting.