French court refuses to ban rubber bullets
France’s top court ruled on Friday that police could use controversial rubber-bullet launchers against protesters. The Council of State has rejected calls to suspend the use of controversial non-lethal munitions that have been linked to several serious injuries at Yellow Vest protests, a day ahead of Act 12 of nationwide demonstrations.
In a much-anticipated response ahead of Saturday’s next round of Yellow Vest demonstrations, the court rejected a call by France’s Human Rights League and CGT trade union, which argued the weapons are unfit for use at demonstrations.
Human Rights leagues and the CGT argued that the munitions are dangerous and have been attributed to serious injuries – such as lost eyes, maimed hands and broken bones – since the beginning of the social movement in November last year.
Since Nov. 17, thousands of protesters wearing bright yellow vests -- dubbed the Yellow Vests -- have gathered in major French cities, including Paris, to protest Macron's controversial fuel tax hikes and deteriorating economic situation.
Demonstrators held protests blocking roads, as well as the entrances and exits to gas stations and factories across the country. Under pressure, Macron announced a rise in the minimum wage and scuttled the tax hike.
At least 10 people have died, around 6,000 others have been detained and over 2,000 others have been injured in the protests.