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Paris Yellow Vest standoff with riot police evokes centuries-old French revolutionary spirit (VIDEO)

Paris Yellow Vest standoff with riot police evokes centuries-old French revolutionary spirit (VIDEO)
Amidst the chaos, which engulfed downtown Paris during the Yellow Vest rallies, a less dynamic scene of a man kneeling with French flags captured the spirit of an intense standoff between the protesters and police.

At the backdrop of the iconic Arc de Triomphe police officers in full riot gear lined up not hesitant to use their rubber bullets and tear gas against the protesters.

Then something unexpected happened.

A protester emerged out of the smoke-filled area. Instead of hurling a bottle or firecracker, he quietly faced the officers and knelt, with his arms wide open.

Another protester soon stepped in behind him. Sporting the trademark yellow worker’s vest – the insignia of the protests that gripped France for a third week in a row – he, too, spread with two national blue-white-and-red flags, fluttering in the wind.

Intentionally or not, the poignant image evoked the innately French revolutionary symbolism, inherited from past upheavals. Like the world-famous painting by Eugene Delacroix, which depicts Marianne – the embodiment of liberty and one of the symbols of France – leading the people over the barricades.

The painting was completed shortly after the July Revolution of 1830. Unsurprisingly, the artwork’s name ‘Liberty Leading the People’ became one of the mottos, circulating in the French social media during the current protests. The images of Marianne wielding a French flag appear mixed with the footage from the protests. Some of them show her ‘dressed’ in a yellow vest.

The Yellow Vest protests erupted after President Emmanuel Macron introduced a controversial fuel tax. The anti-government rallies were spearheaded by the nation’s leading trade unions.

The demonstrations often descended into tense standoffs. Law enforcement used tear gas and water cannons during the clashes, while the protesters erected barricades and threw different projectiles towards the police.

Also on rt.com 260+ arrested, nearly 100 injured as Paris descends into chaos amid Yellow Vest rallies (VIDEOS)

More than 260 people were arrested during Saturday’s protests in Paris.

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