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France: 'Yellow vest' violence prompts 'red scarves' rally

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Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

PARIS (AP) — Some 10,000 people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest acts of violence and vandalism on the sidelines of anti-government demonstrations by the largely peaceful yellow vest movement.

The "red scarves" demonstration came amid growing divisions around the 11-week-old yellow vest phenomenon, which has led to rioting in Paris and other cities, exposed deep discontent with President Emmanuel Macron and prompted national soul-searching.

Protest damage to the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris in December was a turning point for many of the counter-protesters at Sunday's march.

"We don't share all the demands expressed by the yellow vest movement, for instance demands about overthrowing the government, brutalizing institutions," Laurent Segnis, a member of Macron's centrist Republic on the Move party, said.

Others lamented their sense that the movement — which appeared in mid-November as a grassroots response to a fuel tax rise — is radicalizing as it approaches February.

Sunday's protesters wore red scarves or bright blue vests as a way to appropriate the yellow vest movement's brightly colored symbol of discontent. The movement and its protests are named after the high-visibility garments French drivers must carry in their vehicles in case of emergency.

Some 2,000 people have been injured in protests since the movement began Nov. 17, notably as weekly demonstrations in Paris routinely descend into clashes between riot police and participants who throw rocks at officers and set fires in the streets. Separately, 10 people have died in road incidents related to yellow vest blockades of provincial roundabouts and tollbooths.

The yellow vest movement, which includes people across France's political spectrum, sees Macron's government as favoring the wealthy. Many movement supporters dismissed the "red scarves" as Macron stooges, though the president's party didn't officially take part in the counter-demonstrations.

Some 69,000 people nationwide took part Saturday in the 11th week of yellow vest protests, down from more than 80,000 during the previous two weekends, according to the French Interior Ministry. The protests in Paris were scattered, with different groups staging events at different sites.

On Sunday, French police were investigating how a prominent yellow vest protester, Jerome Rodrigues, suffered an eye injury in Paris. Video images show Rodriguez collapsed on the ground Saturday near the Bastille monument, where protesters throwing projectiles clashed with police seeking to disperse them.

Police armed with guns that fire non-lethal rubber balls - ammunition that has seriously injured a number of demonstrators - were equipped with body cameras this weekend for the first time. Officials said the cameras were being used as an experiment to record use of the non-lethal weapons, providing context and eventual evidence if needed.

A woman walks a dog wearing a red scarf during a rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Protesters chant slogans in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the
A man with his hand wrapped in a red scarf takes part in a rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Protesters rally in downtown Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the
A demonstrator carries a French flag as yellow vest demonstrators are hit by tear gas during clashes in Lyon, central France, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Fights broke out as the movement kept up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron despite internal divisions and growing worries about protest violence. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
Smoke fills the air as police gather in Republique Square in Paris during a yellow vest protest, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Scattered skirmishes broke out amid mainly peaceful yellow vest marches Saturday in Paris and around France, as the movement kept up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron despite internal divisions and growing worries about protest violence. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
A yellow vest demonstrators hurls an object at police during a protest in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Scattered skirmishes broke out amid mainly peaceful yellow vest marches Saturday in Paris and around France, as the movement kept up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron despite internal divisions and growing worries about protest violence. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
A yellow vest demonstrator holds up a banner reading 'Yellow vest, World Revolution against Finance', as they set up barricades and light fires in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. France's yellow vest protesters hit the streets again Saturday, keeping up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron even as internal divisions and frustration over protest violence cloud the movement's future. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Anti-riot police separates protesters from yellow vests supporters holding a banner reading: 'Macron removal ecology without transition' in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the
A protester wearing a red scarf stand next to a police van in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Anti-riot police separates protesters from yellow vests supporters in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
A protester wearing a red hood attends a rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Anti-riot police stand in front of protesters in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Protesters are reflected in a puddle in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
A protester attends a rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the
Anti-riot police stand in front of protesters in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Anti-riot police stand in front of protesters in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
A protester attends a rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the
A protester attends a rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the "red scarves" and "blue vests" to protest the violence. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Anti-riot police separates protesters from yellow vests supporters holding a banner reading: 'Macron removal ecology without transition' in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Anti-riot police separates protesters from yellow vests supporters holding a banner reading: 'Macron removal ecology without transition' in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
A protester wearing a red hood attends a rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
A protester wearing a red hood attends a rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Smoke fills the air as police gather in Republique Square in Paris during a yellow vest protest, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Scattered skirmishes broke out amid mainly peaceful yellow vest marches Saturday in Paris and around France, as the movement kept up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron despite internal divisions and growing worries about protest violence. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Smoke fills the air as police gather in Republique Square in Paris during a yellow vest protest, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Scattered skirmishes broke out amid mainly peaceful yellow vest marches Saturday in Paris and around France, as the movement kept up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron despite internal divisions and growing worries about protest violence. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Protesters rally in downtown Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the
Protesters rally in downtown Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the "red scarves" and "blue vests" to protest the violence.(AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Anti-riot police separates protesters from yellow vests supporters in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Anti-riot police separates protesters from yellow vests supporters in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
A demonstrator carries a French flag as yellow vest demonstrators are hit by tear gas during clashes in Lyon, central France, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Fights broke out as the movement kept up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron despite internal divisions and growing worries about protest violence. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
A demonstrator carries a French flag as yellow vest demonstrators are hit by tear gas during clashes in Lyon, central France, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Fights broke out as the movement kept up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron despite internal divisions and growing worries about protest violence. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
A protester wearing a red scarf stand next to a police van in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
A protester wearing a red scarf stand next to a police van in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
A man with his hand wrapped in a red scarf takes part in a rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
A man with his hand wrapped in a red scarf takes part in a rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Protesters chant slogans in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the
Protesters chant slogans in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the "red scarves" and "blue vests" to protest the violence. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
A yellow vest demonstrators hurls an object at police during a protest in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Scattered skirmishes broke out amid mainly peaceful yellow vest marches Saturday in Paris and around France, as the movement kept up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron despite internal divisions and growing worries about protest violence. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
A yellow vest demonstrators hurls an object at police during a protest in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Scattered skirmishes broke out amid mainly peaceful yellow vest marches Saturday in Paris and around France, as the movement kept up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron despite internal divisions and growing worries about protest violence. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the "red scarves" and "blue vests" to protest the violence. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the
Protesters rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. A counter-yellow west demonstration is organized by groups calling themselves the "red scarves" and "blue vests" to protest the violence. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Protesters are reflected in a puddle in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
Protesters are reflected in a puddle in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)
A woman walks a dog wearing a red scarf during a rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
A woman walks a dog wearing a red scarf during a rally in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Hundreds of people wearing red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday to protest violence unleashed during two months of anti-government demonstrations by the grassroots yellow vest movement. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
A yellow vest demonstrator holds up a banner reading 'Yellow vest, World Revolution against Finance', as they set up barricades and light fires in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. France's yellow vest protesters hit the streets again Saturday, keeping up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron even as internal divisions and frustration over protest violence cloud the movement's future. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
A yellow vest demonstrator holds up a banner reading 'Yellow vest, World Revolution against Finance', as they set up barricades and light fires in Paris, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. France's yellow vest protesters hit the streets again Saturday, keeping up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron even as internal divisions and frustration over protest violence cloud the movement's future. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)