A video purportedly showing hassled French citizens forcefully clearing the roads of people wearing reflective vests in Paris, is going viral on social media platforms. Several users, including verified handles, shared the video claiming to show angry commuters dragging away ‘Muslims’ who obstructed traffic by performing Namaz in the middle of the road.
Newschecker first noticed that the “obstructors” did not seem to be performing namaz, but rather, adopting a stance of protest, which raised our doubts.
We then did a reverse image search of keyframes of the video, which led us to this news report in the Daily Express, dated December 2, 2022, featuring the same clip. According to the report, “Furious Parisian drivers brutally dragged climate activists off the road on the Levallois bridge in Levallois-Perret, Paris. The protesters had brought traffic to a standstill, prompting the ire of the drivers. The driver was quickly joined by other commuters who took the matter into their own hands.”
The report added that the climate activists have been identified as members of The French activist group ‘Dernière Rénovation’ (Last Renovation), which is calling on Emmanuel Macron’s Government to isolate buildings amid the soaring energy bills propelled by Vladimir Putin’s energy war on Europe.
A relevant keyword search led us to various media reports on the wave of protests across France and Italy aimed at putting pressure on the French and Italian governments to act to limit climate change. We can see that the protesters are wearing reflective vests, similar to the ones seen in the viral video.
We were also led to this media report in French, dated November 26, 2022, on the protests, which carries the same image of the motorist forcefully removing the protesters, as seen in the viral video.
A Twitter video in the same report confirms that the viral video is of the same climate-change protest carried out by the activists.
A viral video showing citizens evicting climate-change activists for obstructing traffic on a Paris road is being falsely claimed as an incident where motorists are dragging away people offering Namaz in the middle of the road.
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