French riot police were pictured brandishing Heckler & Koch G36 semi-automatic rifles with 30-round magazines near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Saturday afternoon, reports the Daily Mail.
The deployment of rifles with presumably live ammunition visible through the magazine is an intimidating escalation as President Emmanuel Macron continues to lose his grip over France following nine weeks of country-wide protests by the Gilet Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement.
The Gilet Jaunes began as a demonstration against a climate change-linked fuel tax, which quickly morphed into a general anti-government protest against the Macron administration and the world’s highest taxes. We’re sure France’s pledge to send 1 billion euros to rebuild Iraq will help calm them down.
Yellow Vest demonstrator Gilles Caron told the Mail “The CRS with the guns were wearing riot control helmets and body armour – they were not a specialised firearms unit,” adding “Their job was simply to threaten us with lethal weapons in a manner which is very troubling. We deserve some explanations.”
A French National Police spokesman confirmed that the CRS were equipped with H&K G36s on Saturday, but would not discuss their operational use ‘for security reasons’.
Source: Daily Mail, Zero Hedge