Demonstrations in Paris to Stop Global Security
by Jane Rosenstein
Valerie Suara (Parisian resident contributor)
Protesters throwing Canisters after tear gas
On Saturday, December 5, 2020 4600 protesters against a France’s new Global Security law marched from Porte de Lilas to the Place de la Republique. This demonstration had less people than the previous Saturday when 5500 people marched. There were also demonstrations in other cities including Lille, Marseilles and Toulouse.
Several subway stations were closed by the order of the police and that made shopping difficult for some people.We can see from the photos that the demonstrators, while wearing masks, were not practicing any social distancing.There were people smashing windows of banks, shops and other places and breaking objects. Six cars and one truck were burned. The police hurled tear gas at the breakers.
A photographer took a photo which appears that the police were burned by fire but actually it was from some tear gas they dispersed on the crowd.
The demonstration came soon after a Black music producer, Michel Zechan was beaten on November 26,2020 by police because he wasn’t wearing a mask.
He entered his premises fast to avoid the 135 Euro fine for not wearing a mask and was followed into his premises by policemen. He cried for help and those downstairs came to his rescue and chased the policemen out.He said that thanks to photos taken by the public and put on the social media 3 policeman were taken into custody by the police for harming him. A fourth policemen threw teargas into the building. Michel Zechan sustained several wounds.
The protesters are demanding a re write of Article 24 which inflicts a penalty of one year of prison and a fine of 45,000 Euros for publishing, no matter how, of the face or other identification with negative commentary of police and gendarmarie ( the service of the French army which has police to protect the security and is under the Minister of the Interior).
When will there be a Vaccine against Police Violence?
The bill for rewriting this law passed the National Assembly on November 24, 2020 with a vote of 388 for and 104 against the rewriting and it must go to the Senat in January. “Articles 21 and 22 of the proposed “global security” law allow the police and the gendarmes (paramilitary forces) to use body cameras and drones to film citizens, and allow the recorded footage to be livestreamed to the command post.” The Indian Express
The controversial portion, Article 24, prohibits taking photos of police in the line of duty and disseminating those images online and in the media. Violators can face up to a year-prison sentence of up to one year and a €45,000 ($53,800) fine. The bill is scheduled to go to the the Senat in January for examination.
Macron’s party feels that Article 24 protects the police and their families from being exposed due to photos.
Journalists, news organizations and human rights groups denounced the bill as an attack on freedom of expression,
A middle aged lady in line at the post office told me that she marched Saturday in the demonstration and that Article 24 is in violation of the Constitution of France.
The demonstrators think that this law is an infringement of freedom.
Reporters Without Borders’ secretary-general, Christophe Deloire, tweeted that al-Halbi had been wounded by “a police baton” at the Place de la Bastille even though he was clearly identifiable as a journalist /photographer.
Bills against Global Security are impeding freedom of the press.