Fiorina L., 20 years old, lost an eye in a demonstration of yellow vests, December 8, after receiving a tear gas grenade launched by a police officer. She tells and analyses the facts at the microphone of Boulevard Voltaire.
How are you today ?
It’s getting better and better. The Scar is still there, but I’m recovering slowly.
Can you tell “Boulevard Voltaire” of the circumstances of your injury?
We were at the top of the Champs-Elysees, around 14 h. It was pretty quiet until the riots started vandalizing a shop on the other side of the avenue. The police then started charging to let the firefighters go out to extinguish the fires that had been unleashed by the thugs.
We were with a few hundred yellow vests to the left of the police. It was very quiet on our side. Then They started firing tear gas. I do not have too many of an memory, but I got shot by a tear gas grenade in my left eye. At that moment, I completely collapsed.
In what state of mind are you today?
I’m not angry with the police, but a little against the police officer who shot voluntarily. They prepared for five minutes before loading. So it was a not decided shot at the last moment, i guess they where in a hurry in shooting. I think it was voluntary and thoughtful. On the other hand, I am not against the police in general, I’m not angry. While other police officers may have done his job badly, his gesture does not represent the entire police force.
A Fundraising account has been opened online to cover your medical care and to allow you to continue your life. How did you welcome this initiative?
At first, I did not realize too much. This initiative surprised me on the moment. I really thank all the participants for donating. It touched me deeply. This kitty has, for the moment, i have been used to pay the expenses to get to the hospital by taxi and ambulance. Fees must be advanced before being reimbursed. I am really touched by the gifts and gesture. I think I will make a donation, thanks to this fundraising, for medical research development.
After what you experienced, do you still feel for the yellow vest movement? Is the fight still going on?
I feel more for the yellow vest movement than before. Today, I am really concerned and indignant at seeing all those people wounded and injured. We must continue the struggle peacefully and not give up. I can not imagine all these people being hurt for nothing. We must really continue the fight together.
You have unfortunately lost an eye following this tear gas grenade canister. Were you aware, by going to this demonstration, that such violence could happen to you?
It was my very first event. I had thought about it, but not so much. I was surprised. I knew that during the demonstrations, there were always dangers, but I did not think of that point. I did not expect to lose an eye, especially from the police. I still went with the idea that there could be a fight. I was very surprised by the violence.