THE family of a 73-year-old French woman injured in a police charge at a protest are taking legal action.
Geneviève Legay fell and hit her head on a metal post during the banned ‘yellow vest’ demonstration in Nice.
The incident, captured on video by demonstrators and journalists, is being investigated.
Ms Legay, who sustained skull fractures and bleeding next to the brain, is reported to be in a stable condition in intensive care.
Legay, a spokeswoman for the local arm of an anti-globalisation NGO, had come to defend the right to demonstrate, her daughter said.
Protests had been banned in a large part of the southern city’s centre.
The activist’s family plan to file a complaint for wilful violence by armed persons holding public authority on a vulnerable person, their lawyer said.
The Nice public prosecutor has opened an investigation to determine the origin of her injuries.
Soldiers were deployed for the first time during Saturday’s protests to back up police and help maintain security.
They were told that if they felt threatened they could open fire.
Protesters have been banned from the centres of many large French cities.
But there has been widespread criticism of anti-terrorist forces being used to control crowds, with politicians from across the political spectrum voicing concerns.
Some 40,000 protested on Saturday across France, an increase from 32,000 protesters last weekend, the interior minister said.
After last week’s riots, which resulted in more than 120 arrests, French President Emmanuel Macron had vowed ‘tough’ action.
Saturday’s protests were largely peaceful and did not match the scale of those on 16th March, when boutiques and buildings in Paris along the Champs-Elysées were burned out.
Clashes took place in cities including Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Toulouse and Montpellier.
For the past month, the president has toured France, listening to local mayors and citizens as part of his ‘grand débat’ – or big national debate.
French workers and farmers remain determined to remove Macron and many are determined to leave the EU.