france yellow vests

French people protest for the TWENTIETH week in a row, despite protests being outlawed, blazing a trail for Westerners and illustrating just how difficult it's going to be to bring about real democracy
Thousands of protesters are rallying across France as Yellow Vest demonstrations show no sign of abating on their 20th week despite authorities banning many locations. A heavy police presence can be seen throughout the country.

In Paris, protesters gathered in two locations, forming a joint column and marched towards towards Trocadéro square.

Several skirmishes broke out between protesters and police present in large quantities in riot gear. A thick plume of smoke was observed occasionally but it's not immediately clear what was its source.

At least 32 people have been detained in Paris, according to official figures from the city's police.

Minor clashes between riot police and the Yellow Vests occurred in the city of Avignon, where protesters were allowed to demonstrate only in one location. Following the brief scuffles, the protest continued peacefully.

In Bordeaux, a group of vandals attacked a bank, smashing its windows with iron bars while thousands marched peacefully through the streets of the city.

Comment: Spot the Antifa flag at the start of the above video.

Here's what the Bordeaux event mostly looked like: a sea of ordinary French people:

The protest in Bordeaux officially didn't happen by the way: last week, it was made illegal to protest there. But that apparently didn't stop people from turning out in huge numbers.

The situation in Bordeaux remains tense, with police firing tear gas at protesters in volleys.

The protesters are also seeking to show solidarity with Genevieve Legay, a 73-year-old anti-globalization activist, injured in Nice last weekend. "We are all Genevieve!" an online appeal for the protests reads.

Legay was one of those who braved a blanket ban on protests in Nice and got pushed down by a police officer, receiving a head injury, according to the city's prosecutor.
Genevieve Legay yellow vests
© Global Look Press / Panoramic
French military police almost killed 73-year-old Genevieve Legay in Nice last week, because she dared defy Macron's ban against protesting
While the injury caused outrage by itself, French President Emmanuel Macron managed to add insult to it when earlier this week he squarely blamed Legay for the incident.

"When one is fragile and risks being shoved, one does not go to places that are declared off-limits and one does not put oneself in that kind of situation," Macron said, wishing "speedy recovery ... and perhaps a kind of wisdom."

The remark drew anger from the activist's family and fellow protesters, who accused Macron of being patronizing and disrespectful, as well as of whitewashing police violence.