Thousands of people have gathered in Paris to denounce police violence and racism, echoing the murder of George Floyd in the United States. - Geoffroy van der HASSELT
- Two demonstrations, prohibited by the police headquarters, took place this Saturday in Paris, near the Place de la Concorde and on the Champ-de-Mars.
- An important security device was deployed by the police, who put up barricades and a riot wall.
- The rallies, which brought together several thousand people, went smoothly.
All dressed in black, they had come to pay homage to George Floyd, and to proclaim their anger at racism and police violence. Several thousand demonstrators responded this Saturday afternoon to the call for mobilization launched by the Black African Defense League (LDNA) and by a group of families of victims, near the United States embassy but also on the Champ-de-Mars in Paris. Meetings prohibited by the Paris police headquarters, but which ultimately took place without incident.
"No justice, no peace", "the real virus is racism", "the police killed me" or even "Stop killing black people" (stop killing Blacks)…, the demonstrators brandished many hastily made placards to make their rage heard. “Black lives matter”, they also shouted in unison, echoing the rallying cry of the movement against racist violence sparked in the United States by the death of George Floyd, African-American 46 years old died during his arrest by the police in Minneapolis (United States).
Despite the ban on assembling, many demonstrators against #ViolencesPolicieres and #racisme found themselves on the Place de la #Concorde in #Paris. A major #police system has been put in place to block access to the #Embassy embassy. pic.twitter.com/6RaAwUua7Q- Hakima Bounemoura (@KikiBounemoura) June 6, 2020
On the Place de la Concorde, the demonstrators kneeled on the ground in front of the police, asking for "justice for George Floyd" but also for the victims of police violence in France. A gesture - the "take a knee" of basketball player Colin Kaepernick - reproduced a few hours later on the Champ-de-Mars, where nearly 3,000 people were gathered.
“There is a negation of racism, of the black question. France is in denial "
Coming with a mask on the face on which was written "I can't breathe" [last sentence pronounced by George Floyd before dying], Grégory denounced "an institutionalized racism" in France. “There is a negation of racism, of the black question. France is in denial. If we are here today, it is for George Floyd, but also for Adama Traoré [died during an arrest by the gendarmes in the Val-d'Oise), Lamine Dieng [died in a police van in Paris ], Amadou Koumé [died in a police station in Paris] and many others, "said the 38-year-old computer scientist, noting the names of the victims who died during their arrest by the police.
Many Americans living in France also participated in these peaceful rallies. Like Bokar, who came to demonstrate with his two children, 2 and 6 years old. “If I am here today, if I have a very comfortable life that I lead, it is thanks to the fights and sacrifices that others have made for me before. And that's why I'm here despite the ban, so that my children understand that we must continue the fight! Explained the father of the family. “I find it scandalous that all these injustices go unpunished and that the state does nothing. It is good to denounce what is happening in the United States, but perhaps we should also sweep outside his door, "said Tanya, an American student.
US Embassy "barricaded" behind riot control
The rally in front of the US embassy, and the one on the Champ-de-Mars, had been banned by the Paris police prefect in the name of the state of health emergency, which prohibits rallies of more than 10 people. The police had secured the surroundings of the American embassy, in particular on the Place de la Concorde where a riot wall was erected. Barriers already used to secure the Champs-Élysées during the “yellow vests” demonstrations were also deployed on Place de la Concorde.
“Demonstrating is an inalienable right! It is a shame that the Paris police prefect [Didier Lallement] refused to meet, that we could freely express ourselves, as millions of people in France and around the world do, ”said launched Nathalie, who did not hesitate to insult the CRS who were standing just behind the barricades. "Freedom will always prevail over oppression!" "
Many rallies, authorized this time, also took place this smooth Saturday in several cities in France, notably in Rennes, Lyon and even Bordeaux where at least 2,500 people marched in peace behind banners denouncing a "racist police" "And" police impunity ". More modest gatherings were held in Metz, Nancy or Béziers and actions had already taken place the day before in Strasbourg and Clermont-Ferrand.
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