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PARIS (AP) — Two garbage collectors were arrested Friday after they stole a waste truck in order to discharge it in front of French President Emmanuel Macron’s party headquarters, Paris police said.

A police operation in Paris city center Friday morning stopped the pair before they could dump the garbage, a police official said. He was speaking anonymously in accordance with police practice.

Videos on social media show police officers wearing bulletproof vests pointing their guns at the men in the Opera avenue.

French media reported the two men are union activists and stole the truck in a northern district of Paris from colleagues who were at work.

Paris waste trucks are equipped with geo-tracking.

A few dozen people held a protest Friday at Macron’s LREM party headquarters located near the site of the police operation.

Macron didn’t respond directly to the incident but said Friday that protesters who burned his effigy recently or held other violent demonstrations “lack dignity.”

Speaking on BFM television, he said: “They don’t propose anything for our country. They want big violence. That is not my project for the country.”

A new protest is planned Saturday by unions and left-wing activists angry at what they see as his pro-business reforms and threats to French worker protections.


Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.