Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Strasbourg, Marseille, Grenoble, Clermont-Ferrand, Caen… Multiple gatherings are planned all over France, against the “comprehensive security” bill, deemed to be detrimental to “freedom of expression” and “the rule of law” by its opponents.
Last Saturday, the mobilization had gathered around 22,000 people across the country, according to the authorities. Since then, the controversy surrounding this text, strongly denounced by journalists and defenders of public freedoms, has grown even stronger.
Events planned in the region
– in Bordeaux: there were 1,500 demonstrators on November 24, marching in the streets of Bordeaux. A new gathering is scheduled for Saturday, November 28 at 2 p.m., Place de la Bourse.
– in Charente-Maritime, two events are planned, at 11 a.m. in La Rochelle and at 2 p.m. in Saintes.
– in Bayonne, the rally is scheduled this Saturday morning at 11 am, place des Libertés.
– in Pau, the meeting is fixed at 10:30 am, place de Verdun.
– in Mont-de-Marsan, the demonstration will take place on November 28, at 10:30 am, on the Place Saint-Roch, at the call of many Landes associations and the Socialist Party.
The brutal evacuation of a migrant camp in Paris on Monday evening and the revelation on Thursday of the beating of a black music producer by four police officers aroused indignation and electrified the debate. Scenes filmed and viewed millions of times on social networks.
In this tense context, Emmanuel Macron came down to the arena on Friday to denounce the “unacceptable aggression” of producer Michel Zecler and “images that make us ashamed”. He again asked the government to quickly make proposals “to fight more effectively against all forms of discrimination”.
What would happen if the police could no longer be filmed, question the detractors of the “comprehensive security” law, who fear the scope of its article 24, penalizing those who would like to film the police with malicious intent. After modifying the text to include guarantees on the “right to inform”, the government spent the week trying to clear the matter. In vain: despite its adoption at first reading by the National Assembly, the controversy was such that Matignon resolved to announce a new rewrite of the text by an independent “commission”.
Before backpedaling in the face of the anger of parliamentarians and the majority, to whom Jean Castex had to assure that they would have the last word. Under pressure, the executive will assess Saturday to what extent this law can unite against him. In Paris, the head of the protest, two demonstrations were declared to protest against this text, which also provides for the possible use of drones during demonstrations.
Fear of a “drama”
Thousands of demonstrators are expected in the capital. The police headquarters had initially prohibited this “march of freedoms” and wanted a static rally, in order to “avoid the mixing of populations” to fight against the Covid-19 epidemic. A decision finally overturned by the administrative court of Paris. On social networks, the Adama committee, which had succeeded in mobilizing more than 20,000 people in June against the police violence, called for the rally.
In this electric context, the authorities fear violence. “Almost no demonstration is going well,” lamented Friday David Le Bars, general secretary of the Union of National Police Commissioners. According to him, “we risk the tragedy with each intervention”, when violence is committed at the end of the gathering. “We are coming to the end, the social and economic crises, that can be resolved politically, not with the maintenance of order,” he said.