It’s up to week ten of the “yellow vest” protests taking place across France, and as police and protesters grow more frustrated with each other, things are beginning to take a violent turn.
At the current count, 15 people have gotten their eyes shot by French police, who are using rubber bullets they call defense balls. These 40-mm rubber projectiles are no joke, nor are the stun guns police are also using, the both of which have caused nearly 80 serious head injuries in the last weeks. The police are defending their actions by saying that, when faced with protesters throwing bottles and cinder blocks, these rubber bullets are the only thing that keeps the yellow vests from openly attacking the cops. Earlier this week, police made it clear that they only use the rubber bullets if they have no other means of defense, and only torso and upper or lower limbs can be targeted.
The use of extreme defense weapons is being hotly contested in France since reports of violence both by the police and against the police have swelled. But every week that goes by without new measures being taken is just another week to let the animosity between the government and the gilet jaunes build.