95 Arrests at French Security Law Protests

A man holds a poster reading "Living yes, surviving no" during a demonstration Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 in Paris. Thousands marched in protests around France on Saturday against a contested security bill with tensions quickly rising at the Paris march as intruders set at least one car afire, broke windows and tossed projectiles at police. Saturday's marches drew a diverse lot of protesters, but was focused on a security bill that includes an article aimed at banning the publication of images of police officers with intent to cause them harm. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Police arrested 95 people during protests across France against a planned security law, and 67 officers were injured during the demonstrations, Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin said Sunday.

In Paris, the site of the worst violence, 48 police officers or gendarmes were injured during Saturday’s street clashes, the interior ministry said on Twitter.

A firefighter was also injured in the capital after being hit by a projectile, a police source said.

Paris police held 25 people, including two minors, said the prosecutors’ office.

It was the second weekend of violence in the capital during protests against a security bill currently going through French parliament.

Demonstrators clashed with police, vehicles were set alight and shop windows smashed.

The weekly nationwide protests are becoming a major headache for President Emmanuel Macron’s government, with tensions intensified by the beating of a black music producer by police last month.

Paris city officials and others also expressed outrage over the way police broke up an improvised migrant camp in the heart of Paris in November.

Darmanin has ordered an investigation into the incident.

The numbers demonstrating on Saturday were significantly down, with the nationwide figure at 52,350 against 133,000 a week earlier, the interior ministry said.

Around 5,000 people demonstrated in Paris against 46,000 last week, it added. A police source on Saturday blamed the violence on 400 to 500 radical elements.

There were also clashes in the eastern city of Nantes, where four officers and a gendarme were injured, one of them by a Molotov cocktail, said local officials.

There was violence, too, in the eastern city of Lyon.


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