France’s ex-education minister demands police use ‘shoot-to-kill’ tactics to stop protests
A senior French politician has called on police to use “shoot-to-kill” tactics against France’s Yellow Vest protesters.
The former French Education Minister Luc Ferry has demanded that police officers should start firing their weapons at demonstrators, claiming that killing them would “put an end the violence.”
68-year-old Ferry, who served in Jacques Chirac’s government and is now a philosopher, claims that the protests against President Macron’s tax hikes and other policies are the sign of a “growing law and order crisis.”
Speaking during an interview on Classic Radio, Mr. Ferry said: “What I don’t understand is that we don’t give the means to the police to put an end to this violence.”
When it was suggested to Ferry that police using guns against protesters might lead to wounding or worse, Mr. Ferry said: “So what?
“Listen, frankly, when you see guys beating up an unfortunate policeman on the floor, that’s when they should use their weapons once and for all. That’s enough!”
Protests spread through major cities across France including Paris last Saturday on an “Act VIII” Day of Rage by the Yellow Vests.
Participants in the movement – which is named after the high visibility jackets all motorists have to carry in France – were attacked by police using batons, tear gas, and water cannons which resulted in further violence.
Particularly aggressive scenes were filmed in the French capital, where a former champion boxer defended protesters against two gendarmes on a Seine bridge after witnessing acts of police brutality.
According to the Daily Mail, Mr. Ferry added: “We have the fourth largest army in the world, and it is able to put an end to this c***.
“These kind of thugs, this kind of c*** from the extreme Right, the extreme Left and from the housing estates that come to hit the police, that’s enough.”
The Classic Radio presenter corrected Mr. Ferry, saying that the majority of the rioters were not from suburban high rises, but were instead working class people from the provinces.
Those Yellow Vests arrested so far tend to be hard-working, everyday citizens who have jobs, and largely hold conservative views.
Mr. Ferry conceded: “The problem is that it is a movement that has attracted the support of 80 percent of the French.
“When we get to that point, we have to go back to the electorate.”
Mr. Ferry is a former lover of Carla Bruni, the model and pop singer who became conservative Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy’s third wife when he was in office.
Ferry was Education Minister in the government of Mr. Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac, in the early 2000s.
President Macron’s government has launched a crackdown on the Yellow Vests, pledging a new anti-protesting law to deal with them.
On Monday Mr. Macron’s Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, went on live TV to announce the tougher measures.
The government wants to draft new legislation that will ban “unauthorized” protests, and will stop masks being worn at demonstrations.
Mr. Philippe also announced that there will be 80,000 police and gendarmes on the streets of France this weekend, including 5000 in Paris.
“Those who question our institutions will not have the last word,” said Mr. Philippe, who refused to signal an official State of Emergency.