Demonstrations “against police violence” in France: As incidents erupt in Paris, a video causes a stir

According to the Ministry of the Interior, around 31,300 people demonstrated nationwide (including 9,000 in Paris), and according to the CGT and LFI, around 80,000 people (including 15,000 in Paris).

These two organizations called for mobilization together with dozens of organizations, including working-class neighborhoods, NGOs (Attac, Dernier renovation, Friends of the Earth, etc.), parties like the NPA and EELV – but not the PS or PCF – as well as the FSU and Solidaires unions.

Events in Paris and a Controversy

In the capital, after a peaceful departure from the Gare du Nord at 3:00 p.m., a procession formed in front of hundreds of masked people, vandalizing the windows of bank branches and throwing stones at a police car, an AFP journalist noted.

Paris police headquarters said the car had been hit by an “iron rod” after it got stuck in traffic on the Boulevard de Clichy.

One of the police officers briefly got out of the vehicle with a gun in his hand to stop the demonstrators, according to several videos posted on social networks, confirmed by a police source. The scene caused controversy.

The “intervention of the BRAV”, named after these controversial police officers on motorcycles, later led the police officers to “stop the action and make accommodation possible,” the provincial council said.

Of this (police) team of four personnel, three fortunately suffered minor injuries,” police chief Laurent Nunes told BFMTV, adding that two of them had “shock to cervical injuries”. , without specifying what caused these injuries.

“We are currently working (…) to identify the perpetrators of this attack. Three people considered related to these facts have already been arrested,” added M .Nuñez.

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In total, six people were arrested across France, the Interior Ministry said, as reported at 7:00 p.m.

“Parisian ‘protests’ saw unacceptable violence against the police. We see where the anti-police hatred goes,” responded on X (formerly Twitter) of Interior Minister Gerald Dorman.

Demonstrations “against police violence” in Paris ©AFP or licensors
Demonstrations “against police violence” in Paris ©AFP or licensors
Demonstrations “against police violence” in Paris ©AFP or licensors
Demonstrations “against police violence” in Paris ©AFP or licensors

At the beginning of the demonstration, several families gathered in the “National Coordination Against Police Violence” and demanded the truth for “Othmane”, “Alazane” or “Mohammed”.

“We came to fight for my brother, and the octogenarian ex-soldier who killed him was freed,” says Hawa Cisse, 21, sister of Mohamed Cisse, who was shot dead in Charleville-Meziers (Ardennes) in December 2022. .

The crowd chanted “police anywhere, no justice anywhere”, “no justice, no peace” and “justice for Nahal”.

Three months ago the death of the 17-year-old, who was killed by a police officer during a road test in Nanterre, sparked a wave of protests across the country.

Demonstrators, of all ages, chanted “Stop state violence,” “Never forget or forgive” or “Law kills,” and displayed a statue symbolizing justice with a red cross-eyed symbol of justice. Internal Security Code, which expands law enforcement’s ability to fire if they refuse to comply.

Many LFI elected officials attended, such as Mathilde Panot.

The MP said the demonstration was “definitely not what Mr. Dharman is saying, that is, an anti-police march, but a march in defense of the Republic.”

Gérald Darmanin sent a letter of support to the police and gendarmes on Friday. He also called for an injunction to be issued if necessary and to report messages that “carry insulting and outrageous slogans against the Republic, police and gender organizations”. within the bounds of the law.

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“Sadness and Anger”

The interior ministry on Saturday mobilized 30,000 police and gendarmes across the territory, which is hosting thousands of visitors during Pope Francis’ visit to Marseille and the Rugby World Cup.

In other cities, organizers chanting “against systemic racism, police violence and civil liberties” brought together anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred people without significant incident.

Between Villeurbanne and Lyon, 1,700 people, according to the province, marched “in grief and anger” behind banners and placards that read “Don’t touch our children,” a generally peaceful procession that was interrupted only by a few. Damage.

Can we read the signs in Saint-Etienne, where 220 people demonstrated: “For public freedom”, “Down with the police state”, “I want a police that does not protect all the batterers”? .

“All these injustices are destroying families,” laments Mohamed Lekhnoun, 27, whose brother Amin was killed in August 2022 for refusing to comply in Turkuing. In Lille, where 400 to 500 people gathered for the march, he lamented the lack of progress in the investigation since the police officer responsible for the shooting was charged.

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