Over 130,000 People Protest in France Against Controversial Police Law
More than 130,000 people joined demonstrations across France on Saturday against police brutality and a controversial new security law, according to AFP news agency, which cited the French Interior Ministry.
Protests took place in cities across France including Paris, Strasbourg, Marseille and Lyon.
Isolated riots broke out in Paris, where 46,000 people marched according to the ministry.
Organisers later said that as many as 500,000 people nationwide had joined the marches, with as many as 200,000 in Paris, AFP reported.
Protesters erected barricades in Paris and threw objects at the police.
In the Breton city of Rennes, officers used tear gas against the protesters.
France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said a total of 37 police officers and gendarmes were injured in the protests across France.
Taking to Twitter, he condemned what he said was “unacceptable violence against law enforcement.”
Paris police meanwhile said that nine people had been arrested.
The protests come as France reels from two high-profile incidents of police brutality.
On Monday, police officers aggressively evacuated a migrant camp, and on Thursday a video emerged of officers beating a black music producer.
The video emerged against the backdrop of proposed legislation that would limit people’s right to take video recordings of police officers.
The government says a new security law should better protect the police and restrict video recordings of police operations.
Many also see the freedom of the press at risk because of the planned law.
The measure has been reviewed in the lower house and is before the Senate.