FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show A Dec. 18 Protest Against Financial Institutions And COVID-19 Restrictions In Paris?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 700 times purportedly shows a Dec. 18 protest against COVID-19 restrictions and financial institutions that took place in Paris.

Verdict: False

The photo actually shows a crowd in Paris celebrating the French national men’s soccer team’s win at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Fact Check:

Social media users shared the photo of thousands of people packed tightly together on Paris’ iconic Champs-Elysees Avenue with text above that reads, “Looks Like Paris Has Had Enough Tonight! The World Is Awake. 18.12.2020 Paris.” Some Facebook users suggested the protest allegedly depicted in the picture was against COVID-19 restrictions and financial institutions.

“FRANCE is STANDING UP!!” reads the caption of one such post. “NO MORE BANKSTERS CONTROL! NO More Fake Covid Controls .. NO MORE Money / Financial Controls .. LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY!!!” (RELATED: Does This Video Show An Anti-Lockdown Protest In London?)

The picture has been miscaptioned, a reverse image search revealed. Taken by photographer Ludovic Marin for Agence France-Presse (AFP), the photo actually shows people in Paris celebrating the French national men’s soccer team’s victory over Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It can be found on both the AFP and Getty Images websites.

“This picture taken from the top of the Arch of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe) on July 15, 2018 shows people lighting flares as they celebrate after France won the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match against Croatia, on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris,” reads the description on Getty Images.

While the photo being shared doesn’t show a recent Paris protest, there have been a number of protests in the city in recent months. For instance, hundreds of Parisians took to the streets in October to demonstrate against measures adopted by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to Bloomberg. People in Paris also gathered in November and December to protest a proposed security bill that would make it more difficult to film police officers, according to media reports.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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