'French riot police have deployed semi-automatic weapons with live ammunition against Yellow Vest protestors for the first time.
Officers were filmed brandishing Heckler & Koch G36 weapons by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Saturday afternoon.
The presence of semi-automatic rifles at a demonstration by unarmed French citizens shows how President Emmanuel Macron’s law and order crisis spirals.
It comes after former conservative minister Luc Ferry called for live fire to be used against the ‘thugs’ from the Yellow Vest movement who he says 'beat up police'.
Riot police were on crowd control duty today facing off a mob of Gilet Jaunes or Yellow Vests - named after the bright high-visibility clothing.
Live ammunition 30 cartridge magazines could be seen as officers marched the streets, although none were used as 5000 police were deployed on the streets of the French capital.
Yellow Vest protestor Gilles Caron said: ‘The CRS with the guns were wearing riot control helmets and body armour – they were not a specialised firearms unit.
‘Their job was simply to threaten us with lethal weapons in a manner which is very troubling. We deserve some explanations.’
The CRS are known for their tough approach to policing, frequently using distinctively wide-barrelled guns to fire flash-ball projectiles and tear gas canisters.
But until now, the guns used have mainly been associated with specialist military units, as well as the elite GIPN police intervention squads, and the BAC anti-criminal brigade.'
Read more: French riot police are now using semi-automatic weapons with live ammunition against Yellow Vest protestors as Macron's law and order crisis spirals
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