Fund for French boxer who punched officers raises money, ire

Ross Houston
January 10, 2019

Dettinger handed himself in to police after clashing with officers on a bridge in Paris during an anti-government protest on Saturday.

Nearly 8,000 donors pledged more than 116,000 euros (Dh491,000) to Mr Dettinger before indignant reaction from police unions and politicians led the crowdfunding company Leetchi to suspend the appeal.

Furthermore, "Support for Christophe Dettinger" website had more than 7,400 supporters, it added.

"Those who question our institutions will not have the last word", Philippe said, declaring that 80,000 security forces would be deployed across the country for the next round of protests.

"Everyone must assume their responsibilities: this kitty is shameful", he added.

Online platform Leetchi said Tuesday that donors pledged over 100,000 euros ($115,000) to support Christophe Dettinger and the money would be used to pay legal fees.

"I was tear-gassed, with my friend and my wife, and at a certain point the anger just rose up inside me", said the 2007 and 2008 champion of France's light heavyweight division.

News of the amount she was due to be paid, which is roughly on a par with the President's salary, sparked angry reaction from yellow vests and opposition figures.

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.

"Yellow vests, do not give up!"

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced plans to ban participation in unauthorised demonstrations as the government scrambles to try to end weeks of violent "yellow vest" protests.

The boxer says he is a yellow vest and has attended all eight waves of protests, angered by those in power in France.

About 50,000 people took to the streets again on Saturday in cities around France - more than the previous week's protest, but fewer than the 280,000 who turned out in November.

Several men driving a forklift truck also smashed open the doors to the ministry building of government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux in Paris, who denounced the break-in as an "unacceptable attack on the Republic".

One protester, Maxime Nicolle called it the "tax collector's referendum".

Chantal Jouanno, a former sports minister, said she could not guarantee conditions for a calm debate as she had become a focus of attention after a news magazine revealed she was paid 14,700 euros ($16,800) per month to head France's National Commission for Public Debate.

The demonstrations shaking France since mid-November had further dented Macron's standing at the end of past year, with his popularity dropping to record lows amid a backlash that started out as an outcry over planned fuel tax hikes.

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