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Protester, 73, badly injured as cops rush Yellow Vests

Tourist hotspot:
Protesters
gather beneath
the Sacre-Coeur
church during
the 19th
weekend of
Yellow Vest
demonstrations
PICS: EPA/GETTY/REUTERS

A WOMAN of 73 suffered head injuries when French police charged at demonstrators defying a ban on Yellow Vest protests.

Genevieve Legay, who was carrying one of the hi-viz vests in one hand and waving a rainbow ‘peace’ flag with the other, fell as officers surged forward, hitting her head on the pavement.

The anti-globalisation activist was in intensive care last night as prosecutors confirmed an investigation had been opened into the incident in Nice on Saturday.

Call for peace: Genevieve Legay waves flag moments before falling as police closed in

Her family said they would press charges against the police after she was found to have skull fractures and bleeding next to the brain.

Yellow Vest protests had been banned in the centre of Nice and several other cities in an effort to prevent a repeat of the previous Saturday’s violence on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, where shops were looted and set on fire.

French authorities also deployed the army to key sites to free up police.

Despite the intervention there was a rise in the number of people taking part nationwide, from 32,000 to 40,000.

Skull fractures: Ms Legay is treated before being taken to intensive care

About 5,000 joined a march to the Sacre Coeur church in Paris where relaxed demonstrators lit flares and took selfies with tourists. But police later used tear gas on a group who torched bins near the Place de la Republique. It was the 19th consecutive weekend of the protests, which began over fuel tax but have grown into a general show of discontent with president Emmanuel Macron.