PARIS (dpa-AFX) – During a demonstration against police violence and the planned security law, riots broke out again in Paris. Cars were set on fire on Saturday afternoon and several shop windows were damaged, as can be seen on TV images. Rioters threw projectiles at the police, who used tear gas. According to Interior Minister Grald Darmanin, 22 people were arrested in Paris by the afternoon. There were numerous protests all over France – in Toulouse, Bordeaux and Lyon, for example, thousands of people took to the streets largely peacefully.
The Paris march had initially started peacefully at the Porte des Lilas in the east of the city and moved to the Place de la Rpublique. Numerous young people were on the streets, and trade unions were also represented. The police secured the streets around the demonstration and checked some exits from the metro. The signs of the demonstrators said, for example, “Darmanin resigns” or “France: Land of police rights”, people chanted “Macron, enough!”, As a dpa reporter reported.
After about an hour and a half, riots broke out on the demonstration route on Avenue Gambetta in the 20th arrondissement. According to the media, numerous rioters had mixed with the demonstrators. A small truck was set on fire and a deep black cloud of smoke hung over the street – numerous cars also went up in flames. A bank branch was completely dismantled, the windows and the interior badly damaged. Numerous fires were started along the entire demonstration route.
A collective of trade unions, journalists’ and victim protection associations and human rights organizations had called for the nationwide protest against the harshly criticized security law. Cases of police violence had recently made headlines in France. There was already a mass protest last weekend – in the course of this demo, too, there were massive riots in Paris, while tens of thousands demonstrated peacefully.
A few days ago, the government majority announced that it would revise the particularly controversial Article 24 of the Security Act, which is intended to restrict the distribution of recordings by police officers. However, the organizations are calling for this passage to be deleted completely. The law also provides for other harshly criticized measures. This includes, above all, the expansion of video surveillance by the police, for example during demonstrations and with the help of drones. According to the government, this is intended to protect the police.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday that he would set up an online platform at the beginning of next year on which people can report discrimination, for example by the police. Some police unions criticized the plans sharply./nau/DP/mis