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Rage at new police powers in France

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Issue 2732
Protesters in Paris oppose new police powers
Protesters in Paris oppose new police powers (Pic: Phototeque Rouge)

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Paris and other French cities on Saturday in furious protests against a new security law.

The government wants to create a new criminal offence of publishing images of police officers with “intent to cause them harm”.

This would include images of police acting violently against protesters such as the Yellow Vests and anti-racism demonstrators.

Offenders would face a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison and a £40,000 fine.

The law would also give police new powers to video people and unlimited access to security cameras in shops, public buildings and housing complexes.

Cops will be free to use drones with facial recognition technology to monitor protest marches.

At the same time, in a separate education bill, the government wants to criminalise university protests, especially blockades and occupations.

Those who are deemed to have broken this law could face three years in jail.

And new Islamophobic measures are on top of all these new repressive moves.

There were at least 20,000 on the Paris demonstration. It was met with tear gas and flashball assaults.

The laws were set to go through the lower house of the French parliament this week and then go to the Senate. But the real contest will come if the state tries to use them.


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