Protests can be an effective way to make our voices heard by the government or society, as they show concern and solidarity over a particular issue. However, there is a fine line between protest and riot, and unfortunately, that line is often crossed.
In France, recent protests, known as the Nuit Debot movement (“up all night” or “rise at night”) have been taking place in Paris over disagreements with proposed reforms to the country’s labor laws. But when extreme groups joined the demonstration, it wasn’t long before violence broke out.
Anna Baranova, a reporter covering the protests, was assaulted by one of these liberal rioters on Tuesday when a masked man came up and slapped her in the head while she was on camera.
The reporter, covering the protests for Russia Today, was wearing a helmet that had the word ‘Press’ printed on it to protect herself from the violent rioters while taping the footage, which could be why she was targeted by this thug.
“My helmet had the word “Presse” [Media] written on it – an entity seen by [the protesters] as an enemy along with the police and the ruling party,” Baranova told RT.
The movement, similar to the Occupy Movement in the United States, has been led by student organizations and anti-establishment groups. While it started as a peaceful demonstration, it took a turn for the worse last week when some of the protesters started throwing rocks and trying to break through cordons. Police were forced to use tear gas to restrain some of the out-of-control rioters.
Baranova was covering the chaotic event on Tuesday and she could tell the crowd was more concerned with causing trouble than actually using their voices to make a difference.
Sound familiar? (Looking at you, Black Lives Matter).
“The crowd was made up of angry youths covering their faces with masks and scarfs, vandals looking for trouble,” the reporter explained.
The assault on the reporter was caught on her footage of the protest, showing one of the protesters in a balaclava walk up behind her and smack her in the head as he walked by.
Another protester clapped, sarcastically, at the assault, as if to applaud the thug who hit the woman.
Baranova, however, was far from intimated by the childish acts of these liberal rioters, and she carried on with her broadcast.
“I wasn’t so much hurt as surprised,” she said. “(P)eople actually come up and hit you on the head while you try to do your job. Wow.”
Watch the footage of the reporter being attacked here:
These riots sound eerily similar to the Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements we have seen in our own country. What started out as maybe a legitimate disagreement with the government or society quickly turned into an excuse for people to act like thugs and cause trouble — which ultimately hurts any shred of credibility their cause may have had in the beginning.
This reporter didn’t deserve to be attacked, but the fact that she was further proved the protesters irrelevance and inability to truly effect change for the better.
H/T Metro U.K.
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