A video has surfaced allegedly showing an AFP reporter shot by French police with a “flash ball” projectile, fracturing his kneecap, while recording a Yellow Vest protest.
The video offers a startling view into the situation on the ground in France. As the video begins, the person recording, a journalist for Agence France-Presse, is recording while standing, and several loud pops are heard. Seconds later, the journalist buckles over, groaning in pain, and several Yellow Vest demonstrators rush to his aid.
In this video, an AFP reporter filmed himself getting shot.
Very dangerous toy that the police has been given pic.twitter.com/Ld0U5Ihi9P
— BasedPoland (@BasedPoland) January 14, 2019
The reporter allegedly suffered a fractured kneecap from the incident, which happened over the weekend, as French police continue to escalate the tactics they are willing to use to crush Yellow Vest demonstrations.
While the video first gained popularity on Twitter, it was posted to the official AFP YouTube account, suggesting the details surrounding the video may be accurate. The video serves as an indication to some that the police have continued to increase their willingness to use force against protesters and nearby media, with many pointing to a close call from December of last year as evidence of escalating violence from the French government.
In December, a journalist narrowly avoided severe injury or death when a French police officer in riot gear aimed a flash ball at him at point blank range.
Big League Politics has covered the escalating tensions, cultural developments, and violence surrounding the Yellow Vest movement in recent weeks. In previous weeks, Yellow Vest protesters have extended their protest to the Rothschild Bank of France and the French banking system, and French cultural icons have come out in support of the young movement. Just yesterday, it was reported that French police are now brandishing loaded rifles against protesters.
Now extending beyond France, the Yellow Vest movement is also facing an increased crackdown in the United Kingdom, where its leader in the nation was arrested during a peaceful protest.
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Pope Francis Prays For Coronavirus Relief in Unprecedented Empty Vatican Audience
The Pope appeared alone.
Pope Francis prayed that God would comfort Italy and the world in the midst of the raging Chinese coronavirus epidemic, appearing in an unprecedented Vatican audience in Saint Peter’s Square. Papal events at the Vatican are almost always filled with pilgrims and the faithful, but the ceremony overseen by the Pope was entirely empty on account of the strict quarantine imposed on Italy as the nation reels from an unmatched death count from the disease.
Imagery of the event revealed the striking emptiness of the Vatican square, the overcast and rainy weather adding to the solemn nature of the papal event.
These aesthetics are something else. pic.twitter.com/kj8MMY148l
— Richard #StayHome (@OmnipotensGamer) March 27, 2020
“May God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace,” said the Pope at the event. “Lord, bless the world. Give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts.”
The Pope encouraged prayer from the faithful for those directly involved in the response to the historic health epidemic- healthcare workers, doctors, grocery employees, police and volunteers.
The Pope chose to deliver the traditional ‘Urbi et Orbi’ address at the event, a Vatican tradition that is usually reserved for Christmas and Easter. The prayer implied the likely cancellation of Vatican Easter proceedings, with the devastation caused by the coronavirus in Italy likely precluding any major gatherings within the coming months, at least. Reports indicate that the Pope will celebrate traditional Good Friday and Easter Sunday masses, but alone, in a manner similar to Friday’s papal appearance.
Catholic Sunday Masses have been entirely cancelled in Italy, a nearly entirely unprecedented development that speaks to the gravity of the situation in the disease-stricken country. The nation had its worst day in terms of casualties on Friday, with deaths rising to 9,134, with a total national count of almost 87,000.
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