French police use teargas against anti-COVID mandate protesters in Paris

Trucker convoy in Canada has generated worldwide support, companion protests.
French police deploy teargas against protesters in Paris, Feb. 12

Police in Paris on Saturday deployed teargas against anti-COVID restriction protesters in the French city, as similar protests occur in Canada and elsewhere around the world. 

Police had earlier set up checkpoints to prevent large-scale protests in Paris’ city center like those in Windsor and other Canadian cities.

Protesters were reportedly planning to roll into the center of Paris to stage gridlocks and other demonstrations. Demonstrators had parked their cars in the roundabout at the head of the Champs Élysées, one of Paris's major thoroughfares, prior to being teargassed by police. 

President Emmanuel Macron told media on Friday that the country has “always safeguarded the right to protest,” but that the country “need[s] harmony and we need a lot of collective goodwill.”

Across the Atlantic, the Canadian protest has been a major headache for the country’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with truckers opposed to Canadian COVID vaccine rules gridlocking the streets and resulting in logistical nightmares and supply chain issues as far away as the American midwest. 

Trudeau has been growing increasingly desperate as the protest has dragged on, with the country declaring that it may arrest protesters without a warrant and the prime minister repeatedly demanding that everyone cease the demonstrations and go home.