World

Paris bans Canada-style trucker convoys from blocking roads

French police warned Thursday that they would prevent so-called “freedom convoys” from blocking roads in Paris, ahead of a possible standoff with protesters inspired by Canadian truckers.

Convoys of vehicles from across France are expected to converge on the French capital on Friday, with anger over coronavirus restrictions high on their agenda as well as concerns over the rising cost of living due to high energy prices.

The French movement is reminiscent of the “yellow vest” protests against social inequality that rocked the country in 2018 and brought France to a partial standstill at weekends. A repeat of the “yellow vests” would be highly unwelcome for President Emmanuel Macron as he prepares for April 2022 elections.

“There will be a special deployment… to prevent blockages of major roads, issue tickets and arrest those who infringe on this protest ban,” the Paris police force said in a statement.

Police chief Didier Lallement had “ordered officers to be rigorous” with infringers, it added. The city’s ban order will remain in force from Friday to Monday, while police recalled that people blocking roads faced up to two years in prison, a fine of 4,500 euros ($5,140) and a three-year exclusion from driving.

Belgian authorities recently confirmed they would also ban freedom convoys amid warnings motorists will descend on the city on Monday. “Means are being put in place to prevent the blocking of the Brussels-Capital Region,” the mayor of the Belgian capital, Philippe Close, said on Twitter.   

Despite the ban, organisers of the convoy have indicated that they will continue their journey to force a confrontation with the authorities.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: DW.COM

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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