Partying youths defy Paris police for third night running

PARIS: Paris police said Sunday that three people were detained after officers used tear gas to disperse hundreds of youths gathered for a street party in defiance of COVID-19 social distancing limits and an 11:00 p.m. curfew.

The so-called Project X gatherings, a reference to an American film from 2012, on the vast lawns in front of the Invalides war museum on Saturday was the third since Thursday.

Videos on social media showed largely maskless youths surrounding a car and then climbing and jumping on its roof, while others bombarded police vans with bottles.

Other parties were broken up in the Tuileries gardens near the Louvre and on the banks of the Seine River, police said, as people enjoying warm evenings outside found it difficult to respect the coronavirus curfew.

Many bars across the city remained open after 11:00 p.m. over the weekend, the first since the curfew was pushed back from 9:00 p.m. last Wednesday, according to AFP reporters. “We had our ‘bac’ [high school exit exam] this year and we really needed to let loose,” said Cedric, 17, who came with friends from the nearby 15th district of the capital.

Officials have urged people to continue respecting social distancing limits as the country emerges from its third Covid lockdown. - AFP