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Activists in France defy march ban – and prepare for climate protest

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Issue 2481

As the French and Belgian states lock down after the attacks in Paris, protesters refuse to be silenced.

Some 700 anti-racists and migrants rallied in support of refugees in Paris on Sunday of last week. Many of them marched in defiance of a ban—and a warning from the authorities that they could risk up to six months in prison.

Activist Vanina Guidicelli told Socialist Worker, “It’s sending a message that we can continue to resist.”

Cops are seeking charges against almost 60 of the protesters. And president Francois Hollande wants wide new powers including to strip people of French nationality, and to censor the media. He wants to make the measures available to military authorities in a “state of siege” part of normal civilian rule.

Hundreds of thousands of people had planned to march in Paris this Sunday on the eve of United Nations Cop21 summit on climate change.

But prime minister Manuel Valls confirmed on Thursday of last week that protests would be banned.

Some called for defying the ban. Thousands of people are expected to rally in the Place de la Republique square.

Others have confirmed that they still plan actions on 12 December. Friends of the Earth has urged supporters from Britain not to cancel travel plans as it will arrange an event for the day.

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