POLICE were forced to use tear gas as protestors threw fireworks after they took to the streets of Paris against police violence.
Thousands of people across France took to the streets to protest and demand a free press. The protests have been ongoing during the past week after a video of police allegedly beating Black music producer Michel Zecler sparked anger about a draft law that is seen as curbing the right of journalists to report on police brutality.
In Paris, protesters set street furniture on fire and clashed with police as they tried to block access to certain streets. Gérald Darmanin, Mr Macron’s interior minister, tweeted: “37 police officers and gendarmes injured in provisional results during the demonstrations. I once again condemn the unacceptable violence against the police.”
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 some people say limits press freedom.
Shocking images on social media also showed the Bank of France in flames,
Caroline Schatz, who was at the Paris march today, said: “What is happening in Paris is extremely worrying and we cannot let this pass.
Many carried placards with slogans like “Who will protect us from the police”, “Stop police violence” and “Democracy bludgeoned”.
A witness tweeted: “PARIS – Street furniture serves as a shield. The police are forced to back down.”
The marches were organised by journalists’ organisations and civil liberty groups and were 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.