Socialist Worker

Protesters in France turn out for Palestine and defy ban - again

by Rob Jackson in Paris
Issue No. 2414

The protest at Place de la Republique

The protest at Place de la Republique (Pic: Rob Jackson)

Between five and ten thousand people defied the police in Paris last Saturday and protested in solidarity with Palestinians.  

This is the second consecutive week that protesters in France have resisted a ban on Palestine solidarity protests. 

In the face of resistance to the ban, the authorities allowed a static demo at Place de la Republique square, central Paris.  

But vans of riot police patrolled all entrances to the square, carrying out stop and search on anyone carrying flags and keffiyehs. 

Despite this the number of protesters swelled, taking over the square. 

Some climbed the Republique statue, the symbol of the French state, and released flares in the colours of the Palestinian flag.

The New Anti-capitalist Party was present and had called for people to defy the ban. 

The vibrant and multicultural demonstration put the lie to prime minister Manuel Valls’ attempts to label all protesters as “anti-semitic”. 

Protesters denounced French president Francois Hollande as complicit in the massacre being carried out by the Israeli state  in Gaza.

Later in the day, police once again provoked violence by using teargas to disperse the protests.

Demonstrations were held in many other French cities including Lyon, Marseille and Lille. 

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