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Act 17: Police soak Yellow Vest demonstrators with water cannon, fire teargas (VIDEO)

Act 17: Police soak Yellow Vest demonstrators with water cannon, fire teargas  (VIDEO)
Police in Paris have deployed water cannon and tear gas against anti-government ‘Yellow Vests’ demonstrators. As the protests enter their 17th straight week, the government has been accused of using excessive force.

Protesters took to the streets of Paris and other cities throughout the country again on Saturday, voicing their opposition to the  economic policies of President Emmanuel Macron that they say benefit the rich but not the majority.

Although turnout has decreased since the Yellow Vests movement began in November, organizers claimed that 90,000 protesters showed up, while France’s Interior Ministry - whose figures are routinely questioned by the Yellow Vests - put that figure at 28,600.

On the Champs-Elysées, riot police hosed down the demonstrators with jets of water and deployed tear gas.

The fresh round of protests comes days after UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called for a full investigation into reports of excessive use of force by the French police, which left over 2,000 injured and dozens maimed.

Violent clashes between demonstrators and armored riot cops were filmed again on Saturday.

The movement’s organizers have planned a massive demonstration for next Saturday, timed to coincide with the end of President Macron’s three-month ‘Great National Debate,’ a public forum aimed at quelling the tide of dissent in France and forging “a new contract with the nation.”

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