Dozens of rallies march through France against security bill

Thousands of protesters are marching through the streets of France after almost 90 rallies were organised, as uproar over the government’s new security law, and police violence, continues in the country.

A procession in the capital Paris took off just after 2pm, behind banners stating “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, for whom!”, a week after similar protests led to clashes with police.

The unrest is over a global security bill that would have made it illegal to film and identify police officers with intent to “harm their physical or psychological integrity”.

After widespread outcry over the proposed bill, the government made a concession in revisiting that specific clause, but opponents continue to argue the bill could undermine the freedom of the press, freedom of expression and freedom to demonstrate.

The unrest is over a global security bill that would have made it illegal to film and identify police officers with intent to “harm their physical or psychological integrity”.

After widespread outcry over the proposed bill, the government made a concession in revisiting that specific clause, but opponents continue to argue the bill could undermine the freedom of the press, freedom of expression and freedom to demonstrate.

Last weekend, organisers of the protests – a collective of trade unions and associations – said there were some 500,000 people out on the streets, in an ongoing wave of protest which was only fuelled by the police beating of black music producer Michel Zecler, video of which was shared online.

Emmanuel Macron said in an interview given to the website Brut on Friday: “I can not let it be said that we are reducing freedoms in France,” said the President of the Republic. “It’s a big lie. We are not Hungary or Turkey.”

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He has denounced the violence of some police officers and also the violence carried out by some protesters.

“I have no problem repeating the term police violence but I deconstruct it”, because “it has become a slogan for people who have a political project”, including “the extreme left” he said.

Some cities fear new violent outbursts on Saturday. In Bordeaux and Montpellier, the prefects have banned any procession in the city centre. In Lyon, the demonstration is only authorised on the left bank of the Rhône.

(euronews)

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