France: Violence erupts in new Parisian demonstration against security law | France

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French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said so far 64 people had been arrested during protests across the country.

Violence erupted in Paris for the second weekend in a row during a mass protest against a new law on security and police brutality, as protesters clashed with police, torched vehicles and smashed vehicles. showcases.

Weekly nationwide protests are becoming a major crisis for the government of President Emmanuel Macron, with tensions escalated by the beating of a black music producer by police last month.

Members of the so-called yellow vests movement, which rocked Macron with protests against inequality in France during the winter of 2018-19, were also at the forefront of Saturday’s rally.

The windows of a supermarket, real estate agency and bank were smashed as several cars caught fire along Avenue Gambetta as protesters marched towards the central square of the Republic, said reporters from the AFP news agency.

Objects were also thrown at police who responded using tear gas, in a repeat of the violent scenes from last weekend’s protests against the security law that would restrict the publication of photos of police faces.

Some protesters used items left on the streets to create impromptu barricades which they set on fire.

Protesters, some throwing smoke bombs and firecrackers, shouted slogans such as: “Everyone hates the police”.

It was one of some 100 demonstrations planned for Saturday across France against the new security law.

Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin said 64 people were arrested across the country and eight police officers were injured.

The security bill was part of Macron’s drive to toughen law and order [Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP]

‘No contradiction’

France was hit by a wave of street protests after the government presented parliament with a security bill aimed at increasing its surveillance tools and restricting the rights to broadcast images of police officers in the media and online.

The bill was part of Macron’s drive to toughen law and order ahead of the 2022 election. His government has also said police need to be better protected against hate online.

But the bill provoked a public reaction.

After four French police officers were indicted on November 30 for beatings and racial abuse of black music producer Michel Zecler, lawmakers in Macron’s party promised a “complete rewrite” of part of the bill.

Under a sign calling for the withdrawal of the security law, CGT union leader Philippe Martinez said several causes were coming together.

“There is no contradiction between public and individual freedoms and the need to fight against job insecurity and unemployment,” Martinez told AFP.

He spoke of “employer abuse” and the loss of worker protection.

Police intervene during the protest against the bill [Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP]

Macron gave a long-awaited interview to Brut, a video information portal aimed at young people on Friday, which was seen as an attempt by the president to gain credibility with young people particularly affected by the actions of the French police.

Macron acknowledged “that there are violent police officers” and insisted that “they must be punished”.

But he also criticized the violence against the police during the rally last weekend in Paris, which he blamed on “madmen”.

“I cannot let it be said that we are reducing freedoms in France,” he said.

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