Multiple Protests in France Against New Security Law
Multiple demonstrations are to take place across France against a new security law that would restrict publishing images of police.
New law voted just a few days after the country was shocked by footage showing officers beating and racially abusing a black man. French President Emmanuel Macron called the incident an "unacceptable attack" and asked the government to come up with proposals to "fight against discrimination". One of the most disputed elements of the proposed law is Article 24, which would criminalise the publication of images of on-duty police officers with the intent of harming their "physical or psychological integrity".
Rally organisers are calling for the article to be withdrawn, claiming that it contradicts "the fundamental public freedoms of our Republic". Yellow Vests group and Trade unions are expected to join the demonstrations.
The largest of the demonstrations will be held at Place de la Republic in Paris from 14:00 (local time).
Some protests have resulted in violence and/or looting. Even protests which are intended to be peaceful can become violent. If you are in the area of the incident, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.
Safety Advisory - Protest
If you are in the area of the incident, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.
Some protests have resulted in violence and/or looting. Even protests which are intended to be peaceful can become violent.
What can go wrong
- Noise can make communication difficult
- Communication can fail
- Group of people can be there because of the wrong reasons
- Police can use force
- Police can you the pepper spray
- Group of people who do not think the same as you and other protesters can attack you
How to stay safe
- If you hear that a demonstration is taking place, avoid the area or stay in your accommodation until you are sure that it is safe to go out
- Establish where the demonstration has taken place, and if possible, avoid the area
- If you come across a demonstration, do not become inquisitive, just leave the area and find another route to your intended destination
- Do not run
- Be calm and focused: when things get most intense, react to danger or warning signs
- Know your rights
- Avoid direct police contact
Interacting with the police
- If you are stopped by police, be calm and cooperate. They are not enemies
- In case you are arrested, do not argue with the police. Know your right, and ask for a lawyer immediately
- If your friend or family members is in the clash with police do not confront them. Try to be calm, and ask them to move back from the police. Be the voice of reason
- If you need emergency assistance, calmly approach to police and ask them for help
- If you are attending to protest write down emergency numbers.
- Always inform your friends or family members that you are going to protest
- If protest escalates, immediately find safe space.
- Remember, it's not about you. Maybe you are angry, but the act of violence is not an answer
- For your safety, always be accompanied by minimum one person
- Be aware that undercover police may be in the crowd
- Do not put yourself in danger. Your words need to be heard, but your safety is priority
- Protect your mobile phone privacy