Macron hopes protester, 73, gains ‘wisdom’ after injuries

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. (AP Photo/Claude Paris, File)
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French President Emmanuel Macron said in a newspaper interview Monday he hoped a 73-year-old yellow vest protester who suffered serious head injuries after being charged by police in Nice gains “wisdom” over the incident.

Anti-globalization activist Genevieve Legay remained hospitalized after riot police carrying shields suddenly pushed toward people defying a protest ban Saturday.

An Associated Press reporter saw Legay, who was waving a rainbow flag marked “Peace” and holding a yellow vest, fall to the pavement as blood spilled from her head.

In an interview published in Nice Matin on Monday, Macron suggested Legay didn’t behave “responsibly,” saying that “fragile” people shouldn’t attend “places that are defined as prohibited.”

“I wish her a speedy recovery, and perhaps a form of wisdom,” he added.

French authorities banned protests in several areas Saturday, and Nice was under extra security because the city was preparing for the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Attac, the group that Legay is a member of, is pushing back, saying Monday it is filing a complaint for “voluntary violence” on a vulnerable person by a person holding “public authority.”

In a statement, it said “Attac France demands that all the light be shed and that the responsibility for these acts of violence against Genevieve Legay be clearly established.”

In addition, French authorities in Nice said Sunday they were investigating the case.

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 incidents.q