France investigates after older protester is injured in Nice

  • FILE - In this Saturday, March 23, 2019 file picture, anti-globalization activist Genevieve Legay, 73, demonstrates in front of riot police officers during a protest in Nice, southeastern France, as part of the 19th round of the yellow vests movement. French authorities are investigating the case of Genevieve Legay who suffered head injuries when police charged people defying a yellow vest protest ban in Nice.

    FILE - In this Saturday, March 23, 2019 file picture, anti-globalization activist Genevieve Legay, 73, demonstrates in front of riot police officers during a protest in Nice, southeastern France, as part of the 19th round of the yellow vests movement. French authorities are investigating the case of Genevieve Legay who suffered head injuries when police charged people defying a yellow vest protest ban in Nice. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Saturday, March 23, 2019 file picture, anti-globalization activist Genevieve Legay, 73, lies unconscious after collapsing on the ground during a protest in Nice, southeastern France, as part of the 19th round of the yellow vests movement. Genevieve Legay was waving a rainbow flag marked "Peace" and a yellow vest when riot police carrying shields suddenly pushed toward the group of a few dozen protesters Saturday.

    FILE - In this Saturday, March 23, 2019 file picture, anti-globalization activist Genevieve Legay, 73, lies unconscious after collapsing on the ground during a protest in Nice, southeastern France, as part of the 19th round of the yellow vests movement. Genevieve Legay was waving a rainbow flag marked "Peace" and a yellow vest when riot police carrying shields suddenly pushed toward the group of a few dozen protesters Saturday. Associated Press

  • EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT. FILE - In this Saturday, March 23, 2019 file picture, a police officer looks at anti-globalization activist Genevieve Legay, 73, as she lies unconscious after collapsing on the ground during a protest in Nice, southeastern France, as part of the 19th round of the yellow vests movement. Genevieve Legay was waving a rainbow flag marked "Peace" and a yellow vest when riot police carrying shields suddenly pushed toward the group of a few dozen protesters Saturday.

    EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT. FILE - In this Saturday, March 23, 2019 file picture, a police officer looks at anti-globalization activist Genevieve Legay, 73, as she lies unconscious after collapsing on the ground during a protest in Nice, southeastern France, as part of the 19th round of the yellow vests movement. Genevieve Legay was waving a rainbow flag marked "Peace" and a yellow vest when riot police carrying shields suddenly pushed toward the group of a few dozen protesters Saturday. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Saturday, March 23, 2019 file picture, anti-globalization activist Genevieve Legay, 73, center, lies unconscious after collapsing on the ground during a protest in Nice, southeastern France, as part of the 19th round of the yellow vests movement. Genevieve Legay was waving a rainbow flag marked "Peace" and a yellow vest when riot police carrying shields suddenly pushed toward the group of a few dozen protesters Saturday.

    FILE - In this Saturday, March 23, 2019 file picture, anti-globalization activist Genevieve Legay, 73, center, lies unconscious after collapsing on the ground during a protest in Nice, southeastern France, as part of the 19th round of the yellow vests movement. Genevieve Legay was waving a rainbow flag marked "Peace" and a yellow vest when riot police carrying shields suddenly pushed toward the group of a few dozen protesters Saturday. Associated Press

  • Teargas is used to disperse demonstratos during minor clashes with police in Paris, Saturday, March 23, 2019. The French government vowed to strengthen security as yellow vest protesters stage a 19th round of demonstrations, in an effort to avoid a repeat of last week's riots in Paris.

    Teargas is used to disperse demonstratos during minor clashes with police in Paris, Saturday, March 23, 2019. The French government vowed to strengthen security as yellow vest protesters stage a 19th round of demonstrations, in an effort to avoid a repeat of last week's riots in Paris. Associated Press

  • A police officer is taken away on a stretcher after falling ill while policing a demonstration in Paris, Saturday, March 23, 2019. Paris police say the officer suffered a heart incident during yellow vest protests and is in "very serious" condition. The Paris police headquarters said Saturday that the policeman was hospitalized and that the police chief is following the situation closely.

    A police officer is taken away on a stretcher after falling ill while policing a demonstration in Paris, Saturday, March 23, 2019. Paris police say the officer suffered a heart incident during yellow vest protests and is in "very serious" condition. The Paris police headquarters said Saturday that the policeman was hospitalized and that the police chief is following the situation closely. Associated Press

  • Protesters take part in a rally under the Basilica of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, Paris Saturday, March 23, 2019. The French government vowed to strengthen security as yellow vest protesters stage a 19th round of demonstrations, in an effort to avoid a repeat of last week's riots in Paris.

    Protesters take part in a rally under the Basilica of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, Paris Saturday, March 23, 2019. The French government vowed to strengthen security as yellow vest protesters stage a 19th round of demonstrations, in an effort to avoid a repeat of last week's riots in Paris. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 3/24/2019 1:05 PM

NICE, France -- French authorities are investigating the case of an older female protester who suffered head injuries when police charged people defying a ban on yellow vest protests in Nice.

The woman was waving a rainbow flag marked "Peace" and wearing a yellow vest when riot police carrying shields suddenly pushed toward the protesters Saturday. An Associated Press reporter saw her fall to the pavement, blood spilling from her head.

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A city official identified her as 73-year-old anti-globalization activist Genevieve Legay.

The official said Sunday that she is in intensive care, and cited the Nice prosecutor as saying an investigation was opened. The official was not authorized to be publicly named.

French authorities banned protests in several areas Saturday to prevent a repeat of rioting that scarred Paris a week ago at yellow vest protests. Nice was under extra security because the city was preparing for the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The 4-month-old movement drew bigger crowds Saturday than in recent weeks, despite heavy security and even though last weekend's violence dented overall support for the cause. The protesters want more help for struggling French workers and retirees and say President Emmanuel Macron favors the elite.

Scattered groups of protesters set garbage bins on fire in Paris and threw projectiles at police, who fired tear gas to disperse them. But overall police prevented renewed rioting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

A police officer at the Paris protest suffered a heart problem, slumping to the ground before being hospitalized in what police described as a "very serious" condition. Associated Press journalists at the scene saw no violence or incidents nearby when he collapsed.

At least 2,000 people have been injured in protest violence since the yellow vest movement began in November, and 11 people have been killed in protest-related road accidents.

___

Charlton reported from Paris.

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