Macron panic: France deports hard-left protestor ahead of G7 summit protests

The French government introduced controversial anti-rioting laws this year in an effort to contain the yellow vest rebellion, which has been marred by violent clashes and looting. The German citizen, a freelance reporter known only as Luc, was deported at the end of last week and temporarily banned from French territory, according to France Info radio. The G7 summit is being held on August 24-26 in the southwestern city of Biarritz. 

The French interior ministry confirmed his deportation earlier this week, accusing him of committing “acts of violence against law enforcement officials” during the G20 summit in Hamburg two years ago, which was overshadowed by violent clashes between protesters and police. 

Germany denounced a “wave of destructive anger” in July 2017 after radicals, many drunk, looted shops, torched cars and hurled objects at riot police. 

This man is “unfavourably known to police for his strong ties to Germany’s ultra-left movement and for his involvement in violent acts,” the interior ministry said in a statement. 

“His presence on French soil, in light of his past behaviour, would therefore represent a real and serious threat” to public order, the statement read.   

The man was sent back to the German city of Kehl, which is located a stone’s throw from the north-western French town of Strasbourg. 

His travel ban will be lifted on August 29, three days after the end of the summit. 

The suspected leftist, who was due to cover the event for Germany’s Radio Dreyeckland, has accused the French government of seeking to push out potential “agitators” ahead of the summit, which will be attended by the likes of Britain’s Boris Johnson, America’s Donald Trump and Germany’s Angela Merkel. 

His lawyer, Muriel Ruef, slammed the measure as disproportionate, saying that France was seeking to silence anti-government activists. 

“We’re falling into a kind of state paranoia,” Mrs Ruef told France’s Europe 1 radio, before accusing the French state of using “unjustified” measures that “violate the fundamental freedoms of citizens”. 

The German national firmly denies being a member of the radical left and taking part in G20 violence. 

Earlier this year, French President Emmanuel Macron launched a crackdown on unauthorised protests in response to the anti-government “yellow vest” movement that plunged France into chaos and undermined his authority. 

His government has since introduced tough new anti-rioting laws giving police the right to ban anyone pre-emptively identified as a troublemaker from demonstrating. 

The protests, named after the bright yellow jackets all French motorists must carry in their cars, began in mid-November over planned fuel tax hikes but rapidly snowballed into a sometimes-violent revolt against Mr Macron’s government, widely perceived as arrogant and pro-rich. 

Despite dwindling support for the rebellion, French authorities have ramped up security across Biarritz in anticipation of a fresh wave of popular unrest.  

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