Eric Swalwell nods in approval.
From Daily Mail: French security forces are ready to smother the centre of Paris with a ‘last resort’ chemical weapon in a bid to keep protesters away from key buildings, it has emerged.
Astonishing revelations about the debilitating powder – which can be spread across an area the size of six football pitches in just ten seconds – highlights the increasing desperation of President Emmanuel Macron’s administration as it faces up to a law and order crisis.
The country has been hit by five straight weeks of violence sparked by the Yellow Vests protest movement that has seen national monuments including the Arc de Triomphe ransacked.
There were 168 arrests in Paris on Saturday alone as the demonstrators – who are named after their high visibility jackets – fought running battles with police, who responded with water cannon, baton charges and tear gas.
Now senior officers have confirmed that some of the 14 armoured cars deployed by gendarmes contained ‘a radical device that was only to be used as a last resort’ against their own citizens.
A gun-like distributor on the vehicles’ turrets can spray the powder over 430,500 sq. ft. in ten seconds, Marianne magazine reports. The high-density noxious product contains the same power as 200 tear gas grenades, and is designed to knock people out indiscriminately in an emergency.
A source at the Paris police prefecture said: ‘If a large crowd forced barriers through the security perimeter, then the powder would be used as a last resort in order to stop them.’
But it is sure to raise concerned questions among civic rights groups, as well as monitoring organisations, including the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, of which France is a member.
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