The police prefecture initially limited the main protest to République Square, but the decision was overturned by an administrative court and a collective was allowed to march from République to Bastille at the request of the organizers. The route is typical of the Paris demonstrations.
A collective called “Stop Loi Sécurité Globale” or Stop Global Security Law is made up of journalists’ unions, human rights NGOs and other groups. They support the “withdrawal” of Articles 21 and 22 of the bill, which “organize mass surveillance”, and Article 24, which would penalize the “malicious” spread of the image of police officers.
They also call for the curbing of the so-called “new national law enforcement system” announced by Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin in September, forcing journalists to disperse during protests when instructed to do so by the police, thus preventing them from the aftermath of storms in recent years.
More than 100 local elected officials from the Paris region announced their participation in the protest at the public forum of the French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche.
The protests marked the end of a tense week, with two major cases of police violence when the law was reviewed by France’s lower house, the National Assembly.
Lawmakers say the government has amended the bill to ensure press freedom and will turn to the Senate in December.
Police on Monday reported a migrant camp in central Paris while brutalizing several journalists, including reporter Remy Buisine “Brut.” Images of violence have become viruses on social media, and the government’s plans to make these images illegal have been appreciated.
At Wednesday’s press conference, Darmanin, the French interior minister, was asked about police response to the protests, as well as a video from a journalist who claimed police threatened to arrest him despite presenting his press card.
“The journalist did not contact the police before the protest, as some of his colleagues did, to report on it,” Darmanin said.
There is nothing in French law that requires journalists to seek police permission before making a protest.
The video was viewed more than 13 million times on Twitter, and many public figures, including international footballers Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, challenged the police violence.
According to the Paris police prefecture, the French internal police investigative body has been asked to investigate the case. He added that the Director General of the National Police had been suspended as a precaution to suspend the police officers concerned. CNN was unable to immediately determine who represented the suspended officers.
President Emmanuel Macron condemned “images of shame” while calling on his government to “make proposals quickly” to “combat all forms of discrimination more effectively.”
“If people can’t film anything on the street when the police can sometimes use violence illegally, a very worrying message should be sent,” Cecile Coudriou, president of Amnesty International France, told CNN.
“On the one hand, citizens are being asked to accept the possibility of filming on the pretext that they have nothing to fear if they have not done wrong. At the same time, the police are unwilling to film, which is a right in every democracy in the world.”