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The Champs Elysees was saved from looting

todayAugust 12, 2023 6

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The Champs Elysees was saved from looting

The police needed to reassert some sense of authority – that’s just what they did on the Champs Elysees on Saturday night.

The direction had come from above to get a grip – Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne talked about needing to “protect and guarantee” a sense of order in France.

Under no circumstance could one of the world’s most famous streets become the latest battleground for rioters and looters.

The premium fashion houses that line this grand thoroughfare either pulled down their bespoke metal grills or had teams hastily boarding up their frontages.

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Disrupting the disruptors

Throughout early evening the police were stopping and searching vast numbers of youths who were congregating near the famous Arc De Triomphe at one end of the street.

Officers shared images of items they had seized on the Champs Elysees as dozens of arrests were made – drinks bottles filled with petrol, a catapult and a knuckleduster just a few of the riot kits that were seized.

The ingredients were here.

As more young people arrived on mopeds or on foot it became moodier – the calls on social media for this to be the latest big protest were being heard. The police though were determined to disrupt the disruption.

With batons drawn and visors down they charged at groups before they could become mobs, dispersing the threat again and again.

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For hour after hour, they kept on the front foot. Squads of police officers on motorbikes tore around the side streets and main drag – swarming to the trouble before it could get started.

Occasional rounds of police flash grenades were fired to help move people away. They just wouldn’t let them congregate.

One of the cops told me: “It’s electric right now.” He and his colleagues are trying to cut the power to this supercharged uprising.

The French government declared it a quieter night thanks to the “resolute action” of the police. After nights of chaos, they have held back the wave of anger, for now.

Written by: Newsroom

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