Fresh Protests In France Against Controversial Security Bill

Tens of thousands of protesters marched across France on Saturday blaming security bills. Critics said they would limit police photography and posting of images on social media, especially recording cases of police atrocities.

Thousands of people marched in cities throughout Paris and France. Many of them were angry at the police’s “unbalanced” response to the dissolution of the illegal New Year’s rave that attracted about 2,400 people in Brittany.

Voter turnout estimates differed significantly between authorities and activists. Police have a national turnout of 34,000, but the organizers claimed it was close to 200,000.

Many protesters are also angry at what they say is the disproportionate use of force by police.

In Paris, despite the rare snowfall, marchers came out with flags with slogans such as “Police everywhere, justice everywhere”, “State of emergency, police state”.

“It’s a strange dictatorship. Ask how far they go with this law,” said a march in the northern city of Lille, who identified himself only by his name, Francois.

“If this applies to a country of human and liberty rights, I’m ashamed to be French!” He added.

Police arrested 75 people nationwide, 24 of whom were arrested in Paris, injuring 12 police officers and paramilitary organizations, according to Interior Minister Gerald Dalmanin.

Thousands march in Paris against controversial security bills

Thousands march in Paris against controversial security bills
AFPTV / Justin Davis

Dharmanin said in a tweet that police also intervened to disperse an illegal rave near a demonstration in Paris.

Images of white police beating an unarmed black music producer in a studio in Paris on November 21 have been accused by many as a signal of a rightward plunge by President Emmanuel Macron, amplifying anger at the bill.

Other recent incidents captured by cameras have shown that the Paris Police Department is using violence to destroy immigrant camps.

Protesters also oppose the use of enhanced surveillance tools such as drones and pedestrian cameras.

In the face of rising opposition, Macron’s ruling LREM party has announced that it will rewrite the controversial Article 24 of the bill dealing with police filming.

The “March for Freedom” has been called by Amnesty International and a comprehensive group that includes several unions, including a union that brings together journalists and film directors.

The proposal, which has already been approved by the Diet, will be deliberated in the Senate in the French Senate in March.

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