Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on Saturday to protest against the proposed law on "global security".
The text, very controversial, penalizes in particular the dissemination of the image of the police if it "undermines" their "physical or mental integrity".
"Not even a drone", "Orwell was right", "blurring of the face": the demonstrations against the proposed "global security" law brought together several thousand people on Saturday morning in Lille, Rennes, Paris and even Montpellier.
The demonstrators in particular targeted the measure penalizing the dissemination of the image of the police if it "undermines" their "physical or mental integrity", adopted in a tense climate in the National Assembly on Friday evening .
"A law that threatens the freedom to inform"
In Lille, some 800 people according to the prefecture gathered, protesting against this provision.
"It is a law made by the police" which "threatens the freedom to inform, to express oneself, to demonstrate," said Maud, a 27-year-old student.
"There is a desire to restrict the free expression of opinions", also denounced Philippe Vervacke, activist in the League of Human Rights.
"The police are agents of the State, they must be able to answer for what they do," said Julie, 46, unemployed.
"Dictatorship in progress", "big brother is watching you", "more social security, less global security", "videos not tear gas", could we read on the signs brandished by the demonstrators.
In Rennes, more than a thousand people gathered at Place de la République, according to the organizers.
Many young people were present with signs "Put down your guns, we will lower our phones", "The camera never killed anyone", "Comprehensive totalitarian law" or "1984 was not meant to be a manual".
A text "with authoritarian overtones"
With this "text with authoritarian overtones", "the door is open to the muzzling of information by the power in place whatever it is", estimated Stéphane de Vendeuvre, co-president of the press club of Brittany, assuring that this demonstration was only "the beginning of a long protest".
"This law is a rogue law (…) which intervenes in an already dramatic context for the freedom of the press in this country", added Tristan Malle, general secretary of the journalists' union SGJ-FO.
Some of the demonstrators tried to leave in a procession, but were quickly stopped by the police who used tear gas.
In Montpellier, around 1,300 demonstrators (depending on the prefecture) marched at the end of the morning, also with many slogans such as "Police without control, population under control".
"Observe what is happening, check that the police forces do not commit dangerous actions, that's the least of things when you are a journalist," said Gil Martin, 49, journalist at Actu.fr, with AFP.
"Macron's goal is to make the debate as straight as possible"
For Sophie Mazas, president of the League of Human Rights of Montpellier, "the global security law makes us fall into an authoritarian society, which targets the population".
Julien Brès, a 44-year-old commercial executive, estimated that "getting this law out now is an opportunistic calculation by the government, with the sole aim of preparing in a year and a half for the Macron-Le Pen duel in the 2022 presidential election".
"Macron's goal is to make the debate as straight as possible," he added.