Socialist Worker

Protesters defy French government's ban on Palestine solidarity demo

by Sellouma in Paris
Issue No. 2413

Protesters and police gather at the assembly point in Paris last Saturday

Protesters and police gather at the assembly point in Paris last Saturday (Pic: anfad)


People in France were outraged by the bombings on Gaza. But the French state tried to deny them the right to express their view and their anger.

It has banned demonstrations, notably in Paris on Saturday of last week.

The authorities treat Muslims in France as second class citizens, while supporting dictatorships in Africa and Israel.

Both at home and abroad their policies are based on colonialism.

But they deny any demonstration against their active collaboration in colonialism.

And to hide their racist politics, they accuse those who resist of being anti-semitic.

They haven’t banned real anti-semites from marching in massive homophobic demonstrations last year.

The ban was a clear attack on the organisers of the protest, including the General Union of Palestine Students, Parti des Indigenes de la Republique, and the New Anticapitalist Party.

The state’s authoritarian response is an attempt to make it harder for them to organise. This is creating more political space for far right extremist groups, from the pro-Israel Jewish Defence League or right wing anti-semites.

However, the 10,000 people who gathered in Paris on Saturday clearly didn't leave the street to the police.

Most of those leading the chants were women. Their huge presence helped to demonstrate despite the ban—until the police fired on us with tear gas and flashball grenades.

That's a victory the media, along with the police, are hiding.

Solidarity with Palestine goes along with the fight against any kind of racism, injustice and colonialism.


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