Paris protests: Police clash with protesters as violence flares at anti-security bill demonstrations | World News


Police clashed with protesters in Paris as demonstrations over a new French security law turned violent.

Thousands took to the streets of the French capital and other major cities on Saturday to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed legislation, which they claim would restrict civil liberties and increase surveillance.

Demonstrators were also marching against police brutality, but officers were forced to fire tear gas when a small number of them burned cars, smashed shop windows and set fire to barricades.

Part of Mr Macron’s draft bill – that would have banned the filming of police officers – had to be rewritten earlier this week after it sparked a major backlash.

Thousands took to the streets for the protest against the 'global security bill' on Saturday
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Thousands took to the streets for the protest against the ‘global security bill’ on Saturday
Police officers filled the streets to deal with protesters
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Police officers fired tear gas at protesters

Today in Paris, protesters clutched signs that read “Police everywhere, justice nowhere” and “France, land of police rights”.

Mr Macron has tried to offer police officers greater protection in the face of online hate with his new bill, but angered unions on Friday when he said that those who used gratuitous violence and showed racist attitudes needed to be sanctioned.

A protester throws wood on a barricade during demonstrations in Paris
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A protester throws wood on a barricade during demonstrations in Paris

Police misconduct has received fresh attention in France recently after video footage emerged of officers beating up a black man called Michel Zecler as he was arrested in Paris.

Mr Macron was already facing mass criticism for his hard-line stance on France’s secular laws following the beheading of a school teacher who showed students a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad.

Fire lit the streets of Paris as cars were set alight
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Fire lit up the streets as cars were set ablaze

The French president stood by France’s ‘laicite’ laws that sanction blasphemy after Samuel Paty, 47, was murdered in Conflans Sainte-Honorine in October.

Mr Macron said Mr Paty was killed because he “taught the freedom of expression, of believing and not believing”, sparking outrage in Islamic countries around the world.



Sky News