Ex-French boxer surrenders after clash with Paris riot police

The boxer punching a police officer

YELLOW VESTS A former pro boxer was filmed punching riot police in France

The official appointed by the French government to lead a national debate over the grievances raised by so-called "Yellow Vest" protesters quit on Tuesday following a controversy over her salary.

Images showed the ex-boxing champion knocking policemen down in a hail of punches and kicking them on the ground in a pedestrian bridge over the Seine.

The former boxer, who won 18 of his 22 professional bouts and became French cruiserweight champion in 2007, attempted to justify his actions in a video circulated by relatives and since viewed by millions.

But numerous protesters say the measures are not enough and that rural France is paying the price for Macron's policies, which they see as mainly profiting a wealthy Parisian elite.

Police officers used tear gas to keep the crowd at a distance from the French leader.

Speaking in a video uploaded to Facebook, an activist known only as Tahz San said the gesture aimed to "scare this (French) state completely legally and without any violence, yet more effectively than ever expected" throughout the history of the Gilet Jaunes movement.

"There was something that set it off, which I learned overnight", Trompesauce told RMC radio on Monday morning, claiming that a woman was attacked by the police, prompting Dettinger to respond with a flurry of punches.

Police unions warned that the fundraising legitimised violence against police. Macron and his parliamentary majority don't face new elections until 2022.

Mr Macron's prime minister Edouard Philippe has now announced a series of measures to counter the violence.

At least 10 people died and more than a thousand others were wounded in the protests.

"I was at my department this afternoon when "yellow vests" smashed the gate with a construction machine found in the street", Griveaux was quoted as saying, before adding, "They also broke some windows and the ministry's cars are unusable".

"They have no right to leave us in the shit like this", said protester Francois Cordier.

Despite the eruption of trouble at each of eight Paris weekend protests so far, and at numerous other flashpoints around the country, polls suggest just over half the population believes the campaign should continue. Di Maio said Monday that his 5-Star Movement (M5S) was ready to provide support to the Yellow Vests while fellow Deputy Premier, Interior Minister and League party leader Matteo Salvini, also voiced his backing for the protests.

It was the latest round of weekly protests since mid-November, with another major demonstration called for Saturday.

"Those who question our institutions will not have the last word", Mr Philippe said, announcing plans to deploy 80,000 security force members nationwide.

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