‘Occupation of consumption temple’: Galeries Lafayette in Paris CLOSED due to Yellow Vests protests (VIDEOS)
Galeries Lafayette – an iconic Paris department store and a major tourist attraction – has been closed after Yellow Vest protests inside. Police and the store’s security were filmed aggressively pushing protesters and media.
Videos taken at the scene show crowds of protesters chanting slogans and waving their iconic Yellow Vest garments roaming through the storeys of the historical late 19th century building and walking amongst the fashion boutiques and stands with luxury brands.
The demonstrators crowded together on the balconies where they were whistling, chanting slogans and throwing confetti they apparently found inside the building which had already been richly decorated ahead of Christmas.
Protesters unfolded several banners decrying modern consumerism and reading “All together, let’s destroy what destroys us” as part of an action dubbed by some people on the internet as “Occupation of the Temple of Consumption.” There was no property damage reported.
The store’s security guards started forcibly pushing people outside, with some journalists reportedly having to face off with the shopping mall’s security.
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Large police forces were also deployed to Galeries Lafayette. Yet, they stayed outside controlling the “evacuation” of usual customers and tourists as well as preventing more protesters from sneaking into the building.
Police wearing riot gear were also seen brutally detaining some demonstrators, who apparently sought to get into the shopping center. According to some social media reports, Yellow Vest protesters who invaded the Galeries Lafayette’s premises could face a €135 ($149) fine.
Le Parisien reported that the protesters were in the store for about an hour for a “symbolic action.” Most of them later left the building peacefully around 2pm local time. Yet, Galeries Lafayette is set to stay closed until Monday.
The Sunday action follows hundreds of rallies across France marking one year since the nationwide movement – which was initially brought to life by protests over fuel price hikes last November – came into existence.
On Saturday, thousands of people demonstrated in Paris alone. The protests were marred by violence, clashes between demonstrators and police, as well as property damage. A total of 41 people were arrested on the streets of Paris, police said.
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