French Police Detain 44 Freedom Convoy Participants in Paris - Videos
17:48 GMT 12.02.2022 (Updated: 18:11 GMT 12.02.2022)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Paris police prefecture said on Saturday it detained 44 people in the French capital during the Freedom Convoy rally against COVID-19 restrictions.
"As of 5:30 p.m. [16:30GMT] the police detained 44 people," the prefecture wrote on Twitter.
The prefecture said that a convoy of 300 cars was intercepted on the outskirts of Paris, adding that it towed the vehicles of protesters from Champs-Elysees.
Earlier on Saturday, a Sputnik correspondent reported that the rally of French motorists has reached the Champs-Elysees area in Paris, prompting the law enforcement to use tear gas.
Videos from the scene emerged online.
Freedom Convoy copycats the rallies of truckers in Canada. Earlier in the day, the French police said that 500 cars were detained when attempting to enter Paris after coming from different regions to take part in the protest.
Over 7,000 police officers and gendarmes have been mobilized in Paris since Friday to keep the city from being blocked by the protesters. Special equipment including tow trucks, water cannons, and truck cranes was also taken to the streets.
On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron urged the demonstrators to remain calm.
Peaceful protests across Canada involving tens of thousands of truckers, farmers and other participants opposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates evolved into an anti-government demonstration, with various groups uniting in opposition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government.