Against planned police law: Thousands protest again in France

Against planned police law
Thousands protest again in France

The French government is planning a security law that will make the distribution of photos and films of police operations illegal. Thousands of people protest against this. After serious riots last weekend, more than a hundred arrests were made this time too.

For the third Saturday in a row, tens of thousands of people protested against the planned security law in France. After the serious riots on the previous two weekends, the demonstrations in the capital Paris and other cities were largely peaceful this time. According to the organizers, around 60,000 people took to the streets across the country, and the Interior Ministry spoke of more than 26,000 demonstrators.

Accompanied by a large police presence, around 10,000 people demonstrated in Paris, according to the organizers. According to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, more than 140 people were arrested. Because of the many arrests, tensions arose and security forces briefly used water cannons to disperse the demonstrators, as journalists from the AFP news agency observed. There were no major incidents.

3000 security guards in Paris

According to information from trade union circles, 3,000 security forces were deployed in Paris, around 50 percent more than a week earlier when clashes between violent demonstrators and police officers broke out. In Lyon, where, according to the authorities, around 2,000 demonstrators took part in the protests, the security forces used tear gas. There were also rallies in Montpellier with 1,800 demonstrators, Strasbourg, Lille, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Marseille. Over the past two weekends, the protests in Paris had turned into violence. Dozens of security guards were injured.

With the planned law for “comprehensive security”, the government of President Emmanuel Macron wants to make the dissemination of photos or films of police operations a criminal offense if this endangers the “physical or mental integrity” of individual officers. With the law, the government wants to better protect the emergency services. Critics, on the other hand, see the freedom of the press threatened and fear a “clean bill” for violent police officers.

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.

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