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28 Nov 2020 | 10:17 AM UTC

France: Police fire tear gas to disperse protesters in Paris November 28 /update 3

Police fire tear gas to disperse protesters in Paris on November 28; avoid all demonstrations, anticipate associated disruptions

security
FRA

Event

Police have fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators gathered in Paris to denounce a national security law and police violence on Saturday, November 28. Thousands of protesters gathered at Place de la Republic. A group of protesters erected barricades and began throwing projectiles, such as fireworks, at police near the Place de la Bastille. Several black-clad protesters reportedly overturned a van at the intersection of Boulevard Beaumarchais and Rue du Pasteur Wagner, in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. Police have responded, firing tear gas in efforts to disperse them. Several demonstrators also reportedly set fire to street furniture. Rallies have been planned throughout the day across the country and reports suggest thousands of people are participating. There have been no immediate reports of injuries.

A heightened security presence and localized disruptions should be anticipated in Paris and urban centers across the country. Many of the demonstrations are predicted to be well attended and clashes between protesters and security forces and similar incidents cannot be ruled out.

Context

Nationwide demonstrations have been planned on Saturday to denounce a proposed amendment to national security laws and to denounce police violence. Thousands of people across the country are taking part in associated demonstrations, demanding a free press after the police beating of a Black music producer fanned anger over a draft law believed to curb the right of reporters to report on police brutality.

The proposed amendment to France's national security bill would place restrictions on the dissemination of video footage of police officers and gendarmes 'with intent to harm' their integrity. Critics of the bill have argued that 'intent' is a vague concept and hard to prove. Some fear it could be open for abuse from police and could ultimately lead to reporters being unable to do their job covering protests and demonstrations.

Advice

Those in Paris, and other urban centers, are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate disruptions to transport and businesses in the vicinity of protests, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

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