The same images over and over: burning cars, tear gas, broken windows. It seems almost every protest in Paris is hijacked by rioters. This time too they leave a trail of destruction.
Paris (AP) – During a demonstration against police violence and the planned security law, riots broke out again in Paris. On Saturday afternoon, cars were set on fire and several shop windows were damaged, as can be seen on TV images.
Rioters threw bullets at the police, who used tear gas. According to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, 22 people were arrested in Paris by noon. There were numerous protests all over France – in Toulouse, Bordeaux and Lyon, for example, thousands of people took to the streets for the most part peacefully.
The demonstration in Paris had initially started peacefully at the Porte des Lilas in the east of the city and moved to the Place de la République. There were many young people on the street and trade unions were also represented. Police secured the streets around the demonstration and checked some metro exits. For example, the protesters’ signs read “Darmanin resignation” 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 mixed with the protesters. A small truck was set on fire, a deep black cloud of smoke hung over the street – countless cars also went up in flames. A bank branch was completely dismantled, the windows and interior were badly damaged. Numerous fires have started all along the demonstration route.
A collective of trade unions, journalists and victim protection organizations and human rights organizations called for nationwide protest against the severely criticized security law. Cases of police brutality have recently made headlines in France. There was already a mass protest last weekend – in the course of this demo there were massive riots in Paris, while tens of thousands demonstrated peacefully.
A few days ago, the government majority announced it was reviewing the highly controversial Section 24 of the Security Act, which aims to limit the distribution of footage by police officers. However, the organizations ask for this passage to be deleted completely. The law also provides for other heavily criticized measures. This mainly includes the expansion of video surveillance by the police, for example during demonstrations and using drones. According to the government, this is intended to protect the police.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday that he will set up an online platform early next year on which people can report discrimination, for example by the police. Some police unions sharply criticized the plans.