French officials warn of violence from subgroups in protest movement

Summer Meza

Officials in Paris are fearing potential violence as protests continue to disrupt France's capital.

"Seditious groups want the law of 'might is right' to reign, to impose violence on all people who think differently from them," said Marlene Schiappa, the government's secretary of state for equality, per The Associated Press.

Her comments came after a fire on Saturday damaged a renowned Paris restaurant and protesters on Friday forced the Louvre to close. An investigation is ongoing, but Schiappa said the blaze "probably" stemmed from a criminal act.

She criticized the "hate and violence" she claims stems from the protest movement against pension reform in France that began in December. The "yellow vest" movement has reportedly begun to splinter into subgroups, with some protesters returning to work and others calling for continued demonstrations.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who patronized the restaurant affected by the fire, was also targeted by demonstrators on Friday as he attended a theater performance. "Video showed protesters chanting 'Macron resign,'" reports AP, "and some entering a door as surprised police tried to hold them back. A black car reported to be carrying Macron then sped away under a hail of boos."

Read more at The Associated Press.

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