Paris peaceful protest by journalist and other human right organizations have degenerated as Police were seen at the scene of the event using tear gas to dispatch protesters who are demanding an end to Global Security Law.
French journalists and many human right organizations across France are protesting against global security law which prohibits reporters from broadcasting the face of a police officer after a video of a policeman beating Black music producer Michel Zecler went viral.
Protesters in Paris were seen burning street furniture as they clashed with police who denied them access to certain streets after a court verdict allowed them the opportunity to go ahead with the protest against an initial police ban on protesting.
In Lille, Rennes, Strasbourg and other cities thousands more protested against the draft bill that makes it a crime to circulate images of police officers in certain circumstances, which people say limits the freedom of the press.
Shocking images on social media also showed the Bank of France in flames, as Caroline Schatz, who was at the Paris march today, said, “What is happening in Paris is extremely worrying and we cannot let this pass. I have spent two years with the yellow vests and I have seen all the violence.”
Protesters carried placards with slogans like, “Who will protect us from the police”, “Stop police violence” and “Democracy bludgeoned”.
An eyewitness tweeted, “PARIS – Street furniture serves as a shield. The police are forced to back down.”
The protest was organised by journalists’ organisations and civil liberty groups and was later joined by extreme-left militants, environmental activists and yellow vest protesters, who have been protesting against government policies for two years.
Groups named “black block” also took part, who fought with police and smashed shop windows during the yellow vest protests.
The images of Mr Zecler being beaten were shared widely on social media, as well as both in international and French press with four police officers being held for questioning as part of an investigation into the beating.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the images were “shameful” for France.
While Amnesty France said in a statement published on their website, “If such a law were to enter into force as it stands, it would constitute a serious violation of the right to information, to respect for private life, and to freedom of peaceful assembly, three conditions which are nevertheless essential to the right to freedom of expression.
“This could contribute to a culture of impunity which ultimately damages the image of the police and contributes to undermining the necessary bond of trust between the police and the population.”
Protesters in Paris last week said they thought the real purpose of the bill was to stop the media from exposing police brutality. But Gérald Darmanin, Mr Macron’s interior minister, debunked the claim
“A journalist or a citizen who films a police operation can, of course, continue to do so. But those who accompany their images with a call for violence while giving out the names and addresses of our police officers will no longer be able to do that,” the minister said.
— Préfecture de Police (@prefpolice) November 28, 2020