French soldiers with orders to fire if threatened in Yellow Vests protests
General Bruno Leray, military governor of Paris, in a rare public address, said soldiers mobilized for Saturday’s planned Yellow Vests protests, the gilets jaunes, will operate under strict instructions, but could open fire if their lives or the lives of civilians are threatened.
Several thousand soldiers will be stationed outside numerous official sites during Saturday’s demonstrations — the 19th weekend of street protests by the broad anti-government movement known as the Yellow Vests and which have regularly degenerated into violence.
In a radio interview with France Info, Leray said the military have been given strictly fixed instructions, but have permission to open fire if lives were under threat.
The plans to have soldiers on guard outside several buildings have prompted a political debate and raised concerns among the military that they do not have the necessary training and arms to carry out the level of policing required.