Protesters set cars on fire, smashed bank and supermarket windows and clashed with police. A truck was burning in one street and a thick cloud of black smoke hung over the area. In Paris, protests against social injustice and police violence have again led to serious riots.
Several thousand people had gathered in the afternoon for a rally in the French capital, and chants like “Everybody hates the police.” The initially peaceful demonstration quickly turned into violence, as reported by the French daily “Le Monde”. The police used tear gas.
Originally registered as a protest action by the trade unions against social injustice, the demonstration was attended by many participants who wanted to express their anger over a planned security law that has been causing protests for weeks.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin spoke on Twitter of 22 people who had been arrested in Paris by the afternoon.
In other cities such as Lyon, Lille or Toulouse, people took to the streets against the planned law. A collective made up of trade unions, journalists ‘and victims’ organizations and human rights organizations called for the nationwide protest.
The protests were fueled by video recordings showing how police officers were extremely violent against other people. In the past week, police officers aggressively cleared migrants’ tents. In another case, the police beat a black music producer. The recordings caused horror across the country.
With the planned law for “comprehensive security”, the government of President Emmanuel Macron wants to criminalize the dissemination of photos or film recordings of police operations if this endangers the “physical or mental integrity” of individual officials. With the law, the government wants to protect the emergency services better.
Journalists’ associations fear, however, that this could severely restrict press freedom. Critics also argue that, in the past, many cases of police violence would have gone unpunished if they had not been filmed and posted on the Internet.
In view of the protests against the law, the government majority in parliament has now announced that they want to revise the controversial film ban in the security law. However, it is not yet known exactly how the article will be changed.
Just last weekend more than a hundred thousand people took to the streets in France to demonstrate against the controversial security law.
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