In France, police violence escalates to quell yellow vests protests · Global Voices


26-05-19 09:43:00,

Yellow Vests demonstration in Paris, France, March 16, 2019. Photo by the author, used with permission.

Des violences policières, il y en a tous les samedis. Les gens qui sont blessés et mutilés ne sont pas des casseurs, mais des manifestants.

Police violence is a regular Saturday occurrence. The guys who get hurt and injured aren’t hooligans, but protesters.

These are the words of David Dufresne, an independent journalist who is angry about the excessive use of force by French police since the start of the yellow vests (gilets jaunes) movement. Dufresne has kept a tally of the injured victims of police violence and he describes his motivation:

Je m’y suis intéressé, tout début décembre, quand j’ai vu que circulaient sur les réseaux sociaux des images épouvantables de mutilés. Parce que c’est bien de mutilés que l’on parle : je recense 23 personnes qui ont perdu un œil, cinq qui ont perdu une main.

I got involved, right at the start of December, when I saw these horrendous images of the maimed circulating on social media. And I mean maimed: I’ve counted 23 people who’ve lost an eye, five who’ve lost a hand.

To call out the violence, David Dufresne set up a website, in partnership with Mediapart, an independent newspaper. Ironically named “Hello Home Office, Justice Department” (referencing a Twitter expression to flag illegal or offensive content to the police), his platform itemizes casualties since the beginning of the yellow vest movement.

The site details injuries reported by category. Of the 550 reports cataloged, more than 222 concern head injuries, with at least 20 with cases of eye loss and five reported arm loss. Of the victims, 419 were demonstrators, 57 journalists, 37 minors, 19 bystanders and 18 medical personnel.

Yellow Vests protester with eye injury following one demonstration via @alloplacebeauveau (with their permission)

On Twitter, Dufresne shares photos of injuries sent by the victims.  At times extreme, images show grave injuries sustained at the hands of law enforcement officers during protests.

Violences policières: on est à au moins 260 signalements de @davduf.

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