France: 73-year-old Woman with ‘Peace’ Flag Suffers Head Injuries in Police Charge

France
VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images

NICE, France (AP) – French authorities are investigating the case of an older female protester who suffered head injuries when police charged people defying a ban on Yellow Vest protests in Nice.

The woman was waving a rainbow flag marked “Peace” and holding a yellow vest when riot police carrying shields suddenly pushed toward the protesters Saturday. An Associated Press reporter saw her fall to the pavement, blood spilling from her head.

A city official identified her as 73-year-old anti-globalisation activist Genevieve Legay.

The official said Sunday that she is in intensive care, and cited the Nice prosecutor as saying an investigation was opened. The official was not authorised to be publicly named.

French authorities banned protests in several areas Saturday to prevent a repeat of that rioting that scarred Paris a week ago at yellow vest protests. Nice was under extra security because the city was preparing for the arrival of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

The 4-month-old movement drew bigger crowds Saturday than in recent weeks, despite heavy security and even though last weekend’s violence dented overall support for the cause. The protesters want more help for struggling French workers and retirees and say President Emmanuel Macron favours the elite.

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