November 28, 2020
By Tangi Salaün
Paris (Reuters) – Hundreds of black clothes at the end of a demonstration against police violence in Paris on Saturday after masked protesters set fireworks on police lines, set up barricades and tossed stones. The protesters who wore clashed with the police.
The majority of the thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully, but a small group of black-masked protesters broke store windows and set fire to two cars, a motorcycle and a cafe. The fire was immediately extinguished.
Police fired tear gas and stun grenade to disperse the crowd, and sprayed the rest of the protesters on Place de la Bastille with an evening water cannon.
The Interior Ministry said it had counted 46,000 protesters in Paris. Police said they had arrested nine people.
Thousands of people marched in Lille, Rennes, Strasbourg and other cities.
The protests follow this week’s release of CCTV footage of three police officers beating black music producer Michelle Zeclair for a few minutes in Paris on November 21st.
The case also fuels anger at a bill that appears to limit journalists’ right to report on police atrocities.
The bill states that distributing images of police officers in certain circumstances is a crime, and opponents limit press freedom.
Many protesters had placards with slogans such as “Who protects us from the police,” “Stop police violence,” and “Democracy was beaten.”
Images of the beaten Zeclair are widely disseminated on social media and in the French and foreign media. President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that the images were shameful for France.
Four police officers have been detained for cross-examination as part of an investigation into the beating.
“I’m very worried about what’s happening in Paris and we can’t let this go through. I’ve spent two years in the Yellow Vest and have seen all the violence,” said demonstrator Caroline Schatz. Told Reuters during the Paris march.
The organization of journalists and civil liberties groups that organized the march were joined by far-left militants, environmental activists, and the Yellow Vest protesters. The Yellow Vest has been protesting government policy for two years.
(Report by Tangi Salaun, Written by Geert De Clercq, Edited by Alex Richardson, James Drummond, Frances Kerry)
Protesters clash with police in Paris protesting police violence
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