By Oisin Sweeney • 05 December 2020 • 18:43
THOUSANDS of people took to the streets of cities across France to continue a wave of protests against police brutality and controversial new security law.
In Paris, thousands of protestors rallied behind a banner reading ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity For Whom?’ to march from Portes des Lilas to the Place de le Republique. The air of the capital was soon filled with the smoke of fireworks and chants of ‘Everybody hates the police’, causing officers to stop the march soon after it began.
Some protestors erected barricades on the streets and set fire to vehicles, and a bank was reportedly ransacked of all its paperwork. By 4:30 PM France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced that 22 protestors had been arrested for violence.
Meanwhile, in the western city of Nantes, two riot squad officers were wounded by a Molotov cocktail in clashes with some of the 3000 demonstrators that had filled the city. In Bordeaux and Montpellier, protests were banned in the city centres but thousands gathered in suburban areas. Protestors were also numbered in their thousands on the streets of Rennes, Toulouse, and Strasbourg.
The protests were mainly coordinated by the #StopLoiSecuriteGlobale movement, which is comprised of various trade unions as well as journalism organizations. Violent protests have become recurring events in France since President Macron announced a new security law banning the circulation of images depicting police officers, as well as granting law enforcement agencies sweeping new powers. This has coincided with a series of high-profile brutality incidents, including the savage beating of an unarmed black music producer by officers in Paris recently.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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