‘Occupation of consumption temple’: Galeries Lafayette in Paris CLOSED due to Yellow Vests protests (VIDEOS)
Videos taken at the scene show crowds of protesters chanting slogans and waving their iconic Yellow Vest garments roaming through the storeys of the historical late 19th century building and walking amongst the fashion boutiques and stands with luxury brands.
The demonstrators crowded together on the balconies where they were whistling, chanting slogans and throwing confetti they apparently found inside the building which had already been richly decorated ahead of Christmas.
Protesters unfolded several banners decrying modern consumerism and reading “All together, let's destroy what destroys us” as part of an action dubbed by some people on the internet as “Occupation of the Temple of Consumption.” There was no property damage reported.
⚡️le consumérisme détruit le vivant et notre planète. Et les temples de la consommation ont une responsabilité. Aujourd'hui aux #GaleriesLafayette avec les #GiletsJaunes on retrouve la même demande que le 5 octobre au centre commercial #Italie2 avec #ExtinctionRebelion@xrFrancepic.twitter.com/jn2trulUkI— Franck XR (@XrFranck) November 17, 2019
The store’s security guards started forcibly pushing people outside, with some journalists reportedly having to face off with the shopping mall’s security.
Opération des #GiletsJaunes aux #GaleriesLafayette marquée par des violences des agents de sécurité envers les journalistes. Au moins 1 camera TV endommagée #Acte53#1anDeColerepic.twitter.com/30P42fXXoL— Matthieu Brandely (@m_brandely) November 17, 2019
Large police forces were also deployed to Galeries Lafayette. Yet, they stayed outside controlling the “evacuation” of usual customers and tourists as well as preventing more protesters from sneaking into the building.
Police wearing riot gear were also seen brutally detaining some demonstrators, who apparently sought to get into the shopping center. According to some social media reports, Yellow Vest protesters who invaded the Galeries Lafayette’s premises could face a €135 ($149) fine.
🔴Quelques arrestations en cours devant les Galeries Lafayette. Les forces de l’ordre font tomber des balles de LBD au sol durant l’interpellation. #GiletsJaunes#Acte53#Paris#ActeLIII#YellowVests#Francepic.twitter.com/f16Zm6sXsM— Charles Baudry (@CharlesBaudry) November 17, 2019
Le Parisien reported that the protesters were in the store for about an hour for a “symbolic action.” Most of them later left the building peacefully around 2pm local time. Yet, Galeries Lafayette is set to stay closed until Monday.
The Sunday action follows hundreds of rallies across France marking one year since the nationwide movement – which was initially brought to life by protests over fuel price hikes last November – came into existence.
On Saturday, thousands of people demonstrated in Paris alone. The protests were marred by violence, clashes between demonstrators and police, as well as property damage. A total of 41 people were arrested on the streets of Paris, police said.
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